When Maya Nakanishi was 21, she lost her leg after being hit by a steel beam at work. As an athlete, she refused to let the life-altering injury slow her down. Nakanishi is now one of the world’s top Paralympic sprinters. Running with one leg that has been amputated below the knee, she is the record-holder in the T44 200 meter race and the long jump. She competed in the Paralympics in Beijing back in 2008, but Nakanishi is struggling to put together enough money to be able to compete in London this summer.
In a fundraising effort, Nakanishi has put together a semi-nude calendar in hopes of raising enough money to purchase a new prosthetic leg and be able to train for the Summer Olympics. Photos from the calendar can be seen here.
“I don’t regret having become nude,” Nakanishi said according to NDTV Sports. “I’m very happy that I was able to show Maya Nakanishi as I am.”
Nakanishi added that she was unable to compete in the 2011 world championships because of limited funds. The Japanese government provides limited financial assistance to Paralympians. While some may object to the way Nakanishi is going about raising money, many of us can’t understand how disheartening it must be to be a top athlete who can’t compete because you can’t afford it. Give her credit for finding creative ways to accomplish her goals.