Saito Kyoka (斎藤京香), 12, a junior high school first-year student of the Yamagata Prefectural Sakata School for the Deaf located in Sakata-shi, won the Mainichi Newspaper Co. prize in the 2nd "Message Contest" (Mainichi Newspaper Co. sponsorship), which presents a message to support the friend who does his/her best in extracurricular activities, a committee, etc. of a school.
Saito began swimming at the swimming class in the city when she was a first-grade elementary student. She swims six days a week currently. After becoming a junior high school student, Saito likes to swim the 800-meter freestyle, recommended by her instructor.
This summer she competed also in the northeast junior high school convention held in Akita-shi, Akita Prefecture in August after the Yamagata prefectural convention, ranked 14th in the good time which exceeds her personal best record for 8 seconds, which gave her confidence.
Saito worked for the message contest as homework during the summer vacation. "I have already decided whom I would write a message. I thought of the swimming teams across Japan."
Saito said at the contest, "I have a dream." It is her dream to complete in the Olympic Games to be opened in seven years later in Tokyo.
There were 6,888 pieces of applications for the contest from the whole country.