Woman With Down Syndrome Expresses Herself Through Figure Skating and Dance
One of Meg Ohsada's greatest accomplishments was winning a silver medal at the Special Olympics.
For Meg Ohsada, figure skating and dance are giving her a voice.
The Alberta, Canada, 23-year-old has Down syndrome, and often has trouble speaking her mind.
But, wielding her athleticism and grace on ice and on stage, Meg finds herself winning medals at the Special Olympics, and dancing for audiences around the world.
While her parents, Noriko and Kaoru Ohsada, said that while they love seeing Meg follow her passions, they most value the voice performance gives to their daughter, who otherwise rarely speaks.
“Meg doesn’t talk — that’s not our fault [but] that is the biggest frustrating thing," her mom Noriko told InsideEdition.com. "But on stage and in class and on ice, she is not shy."
Noriko explained that she put Meg and her two younger sisters in learn-to-skate classes from a young age.
"I didn’t expect anything — I just took all three girls to the same program at the same time so they could all skate together," Noriko said. "Even from the beginning, she loved skating with her sisters and her friends, and we just kept going."
Meg quickly progressed in her classes, and even outgrew her special needs aid.
"Some teachers say she is faster than her class [when learning] choreography," Noriko said. "Sometimes she can be the lead in the group."
Meg now pursues figure skating and dance as a profession, practicing for several hours a day, six days a week to participate in regional, provincial, national and even international competitions like the Special Olympics.
In the rest of her time, her parents explained she takes classes on cooking, cleaning and other life skills to prepare her for independent living.
"She definitely has a different learning style," her mom explained. "She needs time to adjust to her environment and when she is ready, she is confident. She is no different than others."
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