- The young swimmer won silver with a time of 2:26:18 in the S2 class of the women’s 100-meter backstroke, finishing 9.57 seconds behind Singapore’s swimmer Yip Pin Xiu.
- She broke the Japan’s record as their youngest Paralympic medalist. The previous record was held by Yoshinori Shimazu, who received a bronze medal at the 1984 Games, noted Japan Times.
- “I was third overall in the qualifiers and I didn’t think I could get silver so I’m very happy,” Yamada said.
- Yamada revealed she is “so surprised” by the win and did not realize she broke the record, until it was addressed in one of her post-race interviews.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
- Yamada added that her coach advised her to slow down on her strokes, so she tried to be calm and not feel overwhelmed, referring to her win as the “most thoughtful” race she’s ever done.
- She dedicated her medal to everyone who has supported her along the way, especially her coach, and her mom who encouraged her to have fun.
- She started swimming when she was 5 in order to alleviate her asthma, according to her Olympic profile.
- The Niigata Prefecture-based swimmer was born without arms, and she currently uses a wheelchair due to limited mobility in her legs.
- When she swims, she kicks strongly and uses the rest of her body to drive herself forward in the water.
- Yamada received the Niigata Prefecture Para Sports Encouragement Award in Japan in 2019.