Monika Seryu

Nordic Skiing

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
KL1

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English, Japanese

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began the sport in 2014.
Why this sport?
She had competed in able-bodied canoe before her accident and wanted to continue in the sport.
Club / Team
Koto Canoe Association: Japan
Name of coach
Akemi Nishi [personal], JPN

International debut

Year
2015
Competing for
Japan

General interest

Hobbies
Reading, particularly novels by Japanese author Keigo Higashino, jigsaw puzzles. (bgf.or.jp, 09 Oct 2018; monikaseryu.com, 22 Jan 2018; tokyo2020.org, 25 Aug 2020)
Most influential person in career
Coach Akemi Nishi. (number.bunshun.jp, 05 Feb 2019)
Injuries
In June 2020 she sustained a costal cartilage fracture [ribs]. (paralympic.org, 20 Jan 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do what I can now to the extent possible." (tokyo2020.org, 25 Aug 2020)
Ambitions
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (number.bunshun.jp, 05 Feb 2019)
Impairment
The impairment to her lower limbs is the result of an accident in 2013. The incident occurred during a physical education class in year 10 of high school. (sponichi.co.jp, 25 Oct 2016; gutspose.favclip.com, 24 May 2016; Para Do YouTube channel, 12 May 2016)
Other information
MOTIVATION AFTER POSTPONEMENT
She confessed that she was struggling mentally following the cancellations of tournaments after the postponement of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. However, she was able to regain motivation by interacting with fellow elite athletes through online sessions organised by the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences [JISS] and the National Training Centre [NTC]. “I lost sight of what I was working so hard towards. Not having any competitions for this length of time was a first for me, and the focus of my training shifted to maintaining, rather than improving. Mentally, I was going through a tough time. There was plenty of time to talk online during lockdown, about things like when facilities might open again and training regimens. Sharing information was encouraging, and I realised that I wasn't alone in my struggle. I gained a lot of strength through those interactions." (paralympic.org, 20 Jan 2021)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY
In June 2020 she released her autobiography 'How a Para Athlete Makes an Unbreakable Heart'. (amazon.co.jp, 24 Jun 2020)

BREAK AND RETURN
In 2019 she took a break from her studies to focus on training ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, but in April 2020 she decided to return to University of Tsukuba due to the postponement of the event. She became a member of the Adapted Physical Education and Activity Lap, and also took courses on sports biomechanics, anatomy, kinematics and training studies. "The hands-on, practical teaching certainly helps me understand Para canoe as a sport and plan effective training regimens." (monikaseryu.com, 24 Apr 2019; tokyo2020.org, 25 Aug 2020)

MOVIE ADAPTATION
Her sporting career was portrayed in a film titled 'Pride Over Water' that was due to release in June 2020. The actress her played her role in the film was trained by her coach Akemi Nishi. (iza.ne.jp, 28 Aug 2019; cinra.net, 25 Feb 2020)