Deaf grader competes at swim meet in Hokkaido

Mother Eriko-san blesses her Deaf daughter Mari-san after finishing the game.

December 03, 2012

Oku Mari-san, aged 7 in the first grade of the Obihiro School for the Deaf, participated in the 12th record meeting, sponsored by the city culture sport promotion foundation, for the first time in Tokachi, Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, on December 2.

Mari-san yearned after Ono Chikako-san, a  visually impaired high school senior who won a prize at the London Paralympics swimming race in August, and began swimming.

The Obihiro Swimming Association which supervised the swimming event, prepared perfectly the check of the equipment which emits light simultaneously with sound of the pistol at a starting signal for the Deaf swimmer who participated in the record meeting for the first time.

Mari-san competed at two 50-meter races at the record meeting: She finished the crawl with 1:25:17 (the 7th place) and the backstroke with 1:53:81 (6th place). She was blessed by her mother Eriko-san, grandmother Nobuko-san and others.

After the race, although Meri-san said in sign language, "I did not get tired", her mother said, "My daughter is an unyielding person, and since she finished behind the children of the same group, she seems to be fairly mortifying at heart." This result seemed to give Meri-san more aspiration.

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