September 15, 2011
UEDA Daiki (20), a student of the Nagasaki Prefecture School for the Deaf, will represent Japan at the upcoming "8th International Abilympics" furniture section. The event will be open in Soul, South Korea on September 25.
It is the first time in 11 years that a representative is elected from the prefecture, and it is also first for a student. Daiki visited the Prefecture Office on September 14 to report his representation. He talked about ambition, "My goal is to win a prize higher than the 6th place."
The International Abilympics is held every four years in order to improve the vocational skills of persons with disabilities and to promote an understanding of disability. There are 40 items, such as furniture, artificial limb manufacture, cooking, dressmaking, etc. Since there is no age limit, most contestants are professional craftmen.
Daiki, a Tsushima native, left his home at the age of 3 to live in the dormitory. He says that he saw the wardrobes and cupboards made by the high school seniors exhibited at the school cultural festival when he was an elementary pupil. Ever since he had yearned for making woodwork furniture. So, he chose the industrial craft course including making cabinetry at once when he was a high school junior.
He won the second prize for furniture at the National Abilympics last autumn, and was chosen as a representative for the Soul Abilympics in January, this year.
After the subject item at the contest was announced as a "small desk" in May, Daiki has devoted to making a small desk on many days for 4 hours per day using the training time. Seven small desks were made until now and as a result he feels his skills are much improved.
At the Abilympics, the contestant has only 5 hours and a half to complete the furniture manufacture before the audience, and it is a hard time even for a professional craftsman. Daiki is enthusiastic, saying "I would like to do my best so that my stepped-up efforts can be demonstrated."
8th International Abilympics Official site (English):