Three Estonians - swimmers Susannah Kaul and Matz Topkin and discus thrower Egert Jõesaar - have fulfilled the qualifying standards and have entered their name for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, set to begin on August 24.
In addition to the aforementioned names, four more Estonians are vying for Olympic tickets: Anna Mezentseva (wheelchair fencing), Mari-Liis Juul (cycling), Robin Liksor (swimming) ja Kardo Ploomipuu (swimming). The final entry list for Estonian athletes to travel to Tokyo in August will be confirmed this week.
For Estonia's best in their respective sports to be recognized for their talents, the Estonian Paralympic Committee has initiated a campaign called "Out of the shadows". The campaign's aim is to show that parasports are also top-level sports and that Paralympic athletes are equal to their Olympic counterparts.
Throughout history, Estonian athletes have claimed multiple medals from Paralympic Games of the past and have also achieved terrific results from other title competitions, but their achievements have been shadowed by "regular" sports. Now is the time to step out of the shadows and to exhibit parasports in its entire glory, the Estonian Paralympic Committee wrote.
The campaign's idea stems from the mind of photographer Hendrik Osula, who helped with capturing the athletes aiming for a Paralympic spot.
"The idea largely came from watching 'Rising Phoenix'. In the movie, they played a lot with darker and more dull tones. I tried to do something similar when photographing Estonian parasports athletes to capture them in an environment suitable for them," Osula said.
The photographer said the greatest challenge was taking pictures under water. "I did not have much experience with that, especially with using flash in water. But in conclusion, it went much better than I expected, the athletes were very responsive and prepared to follow my ideas. They were also very patient when things did not come out right on the first try. Our cooperation went very well and I believe that is also reflected in the results," Osula said.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games will take place on August 24-September 5.
See below the campaign video, photos of the athletes are available here.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste