Mayumi is one of the best Paralympian swimmers in the world. She has 15 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals and competed from 1996 to 2004. She has had to make sure of a wheelchair for several years due to her myelitis (inflammatory spinal cord condition that can result in paralysis) in addition to a severe car accident that damaged the nerves in her arm. She initially had a difficult time with her disability, but soon discovered wheelchair basketball and further explored her new limits and abilities.
Prior to training in swimming it was a sport she pretty actively avoided whenever possible. She trained into an amazing swimmer (in only a year it seems) and took home a ton of medals for Japan. I’m always in awe of the dedication of athletes, especially ones who have to work through pain and other obstacles. I’m not an amazing swimmer, but I can get around, though I couldn’t imagine swimming without being able to use my legs. Hats of to Mayumi for being amazing and showing the world you can be an athlete no matter what.
Information on her is painfully sparing so I’ve shared what I found. I’ve heard she has a memoir out, I was not able to find it.
Mayumi’s Gold Medal swim – 150m in 2004
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