Japan's wheelchair tennis star Kunieda receives People's Honor Award

Retired Japanese wheelchair tennis star Kunieda Shingo has received the People's Honor Award.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio presented the award to Kunieda at a ceremony at the prime minister's office on Friday.

Kunieda achieved a career Golden Slam by winning all four major grand slam tournaments as well as the Paralympics.

Kishida said Kunieda has achieved an unprecedented feat and made major contributions to the spread of para sports and the development of sports as a whole. He added that Kunieda gave people dreams, excitement, hope and courage.

Kunieda was presented with a certificate and a plaque. He and his wife also received a wristwatch in commemoration of the event.

After the ceremony, Kunieda told reporters that he was very surprised when he heard he was chosen for the award. He said it honors everyone who supported him, including his parents, wife and coach.

He added that he would be happy if more people recognize the Paralympics and are able to enjoy para sports.

Kunieda is the 27th individual and the first para athlete to receive the award. Two-time Olympic figure skating champion Hanyu Yuzuru was the previous recipient in 2018.