Twenty year old Mio Osato is mute and has a severe form of autism. There are limited people, apart from Mio’s father who can understand Mio’s facial expressions. This year she was selected to represent Special Olympics Nippon for Track and Field in the World Summer Games, and returned with a Silver for 1500m Track and Field, and Bronze for 3000m. Hiroki Osato, Mio’s father, shares Mio’s story in his own words:
“I have loved Europe since I was young. So, I named my daughter Mio which means ‘beautiful Europe’ in Japanese. I hoped that she would be an educator, artist or musician when she grew up. However, when Mio was three, she was diagnosed as severely autistic. This ripped my dream apart.