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YAMAMOTO Eri
Sport Para ice hockey, Para powerlifting, Para swimming
NPC Japan   
GenderWomen
Age39
Place of BirthKobe, JPN
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Further Personal Information
Other names
Eri Yamamoto Macdonald
Residence
Tokyo, JPN
Occupation
Office Worker
Languages
English, Japanese
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 2016.
Why this sport?
She initially began Para swimming with the aim of competing at the Paralympic Games, but was forced to quit Para swimming due to an injury while in high school. She then wanted to establish a women's Para ice hockey team in Japan, but she could not find enough players. She later tried powerlifting while she was working at a Para sports event, and Japanese lifter Hajime Ujiro encouraged her to start training seriously. "I chose Para powerlifting on the basis of whether I would enjoy it or not rather than if I would be able to do it or not."
Club / Team
Nippon Foundation Para Sports Support Centre: Japan
Name of coach
Jon Amos, GBR
Senior International Debut
Year
2017
Competing for
Japan
General Interest
Nicknames
Mac (Instagram profile, 11 Jun 2021; jppf.jp, 14 Jun 2017)
Other sports
She was part of Canada's national Para ice hockey team from 2013 to 2015. (jppf.jp, 14 Jun 2017; 1242.com, 06 Feb 2017; sledgenews.com, 02 Sep 2015)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (Instagram profile, 17 Apr 2022; asahi.com, 07 Feb 2022)
Impairment
She was born with spina bifida. (1242.com, 06 Feb 2017)
Other information
SWIMMING BACKGROUND
Her dream to compete at the Paralympic Games started with swimming, but she was forced to quit the sport in grade 12 of high school due to injury. "When I was nine, I was so shy. But when I began swimming, I gained confidence. I swam faster - faster than even able-bodied swimmers. As I grew more confident, I began to dream of being a Paralympian, going to the Paralympics. Since I began having that dream, it has become my identity." (panasonic.jp, 27 Jun 2018; jppf.jp, 12 Mar 2018; theolympians.co, 16 Jun 2017)

JAPAN TO CANADA AND BACK
In 2009 she moved to Canada to study at university, where she took up Para ice hockey. She married her Canadian husband in 2013, and in 2015 she moved back to Japan. "[After quitting Para swimming] I was offered the chance to join the Japanese Para swimming team in a support position. I went on to accompany the team as a mental trainer at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. However, at that time, I became frustrated as I was not able to speak English. I believed that I would struggle to support people without speaking English, so I decided to go to Canada." (Minato City YouTube channel, 15 Apr 2021; jppf.jp, 14 Jun 2017; fujitv.co.jp, 29 Mar 2017; 1242.com, 06 Feb 2017)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She studied for a master's degree in adapted physical activity at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB, Canada. (para.tokyo, 05 Mar 2017)

OCCUPATION
She served as a mental trainer with the Japanese national Para swimming team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and worked as staff at Japan House London during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She has also worked at the Nippon Foundation Para Sports Support Centre in Japan, producing educational materials about Para sports and serving as a lecturer. (parasapo.tokyo, 22 Mar 2022; Minato City YouTube channel, 15 Apr 2021; sponichi.co.jp, 09 Jul 2020; panasonic.jp, 27 Jun 2018; jppf.jp, 14 Jun 2017; 1242.com, 06 Feb 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Para powerlifting
Rank Year Event Result
  2017 50kg  NoM
17 2021 55kg 50.0