A lot of people would’ve put their lives on indefinite hold after losing a limb, but not Manami Ito.
She lost her right arm in a car accident in 2004, but in the years since, this 33-year-old has accomplished more than most of her able-bodied counterparts could ever dream. She continued her studies and became a certified nurse, but didn’t stop there.
What Manami has achieved in the last 14 years was inspired by something she saw when she went to pick up her first prosthetic arm. Off in another room, some other amputees were playing basketball, and if they could do that, she reasoned, there was no reason she couldn’t participate in sports as well.
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Manami took up swimming in 2007 and placed fourth in 2008 at the Paralympics in Beijing, then went on to place eighth at the 2012 London Paralympics!
But she didn’t stop there, either! Manami also happens to be an accomplished musician, so when she’s not tending to the sick or winning medals, she’s touring the country, giving concerts as Japan’s only one-armed violinist.
She played before with a more traditional prosthetic, but two years ago, Manami received a new one specially designed to be just as functional yet extremely lightweight. In the picture below, she’s testing it out during a performance at a local mall.
The video below was taken by Miyuki Nakajima during a performance at the Takarazuka City General Welfare Center in Hyōgo Prefecture. And if this isn’t enough to convince other amputees they can’t still achieve their dreams, we’re not sure what will.
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