Morimoto Masatoshi, 27, won the gold medal in the hammer throw at Deaflympics opened in Taipei in 2009. He gave a lecture in Otsu-shi, Shiga Prefecture near Kyoto on March 24.
The event was planned by the sign language circle of the city. Morimoto talked about his life and sports, focusing on the support from people and the encounter which changed his life.
He was born deaf and attended the Shiga Prefecture School for the Deaf starting at the age of three. He played an active part in the boy baseball team in the area and took an entrance examination for the hearing high school aiming at Koshien where the chosen high school baseball teams compete for the victory every year.
He didn't make it and was admitted to the Shiga Prefecture High School for the Deaf in disappointment. He was recommended the hammer throw from his teacher and became interested in it, "because distance will be extended if he practices every day".
Deaflympics is not much known. Morimoto is anxious that not many Deaf people know about it. He says, "Also in order to give the Deaf children hope in future, I would like to tell them how wonderful Deaflympics is."