New Zealand Chef de Mission Paula Tesoriero warned of funding challenges for the Paralympic Movement as sport resumes following the coronavirus pandemic.
The former Para-cyclist discussed the impact of the pandemic on athletes in a post on the Paralympics New Zealand website.
Sport has been suspended since March, with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics also postponed until August 24 to September 5 2021.
"As Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Team my thoughts were with our Paralympians and Para athletes who were also at home during our lockdown period," Tesoriero said.
"What started as a year of hope, optimism, dreams of gold medals and showcasing their talent to the word has become a year of uncertainty, challenge, and new timeframes.
"The qualities of resilience and determination, hallmarks of being an athlete, have stood our team in good stead."
New Zealand was able to get the pandemic under control quickly, only reporting 1,504 cases and 22 deaths.
Lockdown measures have now been lifted, and athletes have been able to return to training.
Tesoriero warned of the funding challenges that are set to develop, however, and called on the New Zealand Government to invest in Paralympic sport.
"Our Para athletes are now slowly and safely starting to return to their training environments," she said.
"But challenges remain, particularly funding challenges from sourcing the 35 per cent of Paralympics New Zealand funding that comes from non-Government sources in an economy significantly impacted by COVID-19.
"The Government recently announced a NZD$265 million (£136 million/$170 million/€151 milllion) recovery package for sport.
"Now is the perfect time to advocate for this investment to assist sport and recreation providers to improve their capability for the inclusion of disabled people."
Tesoriero will lead the New Zealand team in Tokyo next year, having earned an Olympic gold and two bronze medals in the road cycling events at Beijing 2008.
New Zealand have enjoyed success at the Summer Paralympics, achieving a total of 189 medals after appearing at every Games since Tel-Aviv 1968.