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Friday, June 8, 2012

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Baring all: Maya Nakanishi poses for a calendar in February in a bid to raise funds to compete at the London Paralympic Games this summer. AFP-JIJI / TAKAO OCHI

Paralympic sprinter bares all to raise London Games cash


A 27-year-old sprinter hoping to represent Japan at the London Paralympic Games has gone nude for calendar shots of her finely toned body in a bid to raise funds.

The calendar, whose pictures were taken by professional photographer Takao Ochi, shows Maya Nakanishi in virtually naked yet tasteful poses.

The move is part of the athlete's bid to raise enough money for the trip to London and to buy a new prosthetic leg.

On her official blog, Nakanishi expresses hope people will enjoy the calendar.

"I don't regret the shots. I'm very happy that I was able to show off my body just as it is," she says.

Nakanishi's right leg was amputated below the knee at age 21 after being struck by a steel beam in an accident.

She decided to become a sprinter after doctors attached a prosthetic limb, finishing fourth in the 200 meters and sixth in the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

In a separate statement, Nakanishi explained how she was unable to compete at the 2011 world championships held by the International Paralympic Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand, due to a lack of funding, despite being a strong medal contender.

As Japan's paralympic athletes receive limited financial assistance from the government, the calendar is an attempt to raise funds to attend the London Games, according to the statement.

Nakanishi's calendar is available through Amazon on her website.

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