Nurse torchbearer in Oita fulfills a promise to herself

At the age of 41, ANAN Miwa, a mother of two, became a licensed practical nurse.

Circumstances had caused her to abandon her dream of becoming a registered nurse, but as she worked as a practical nurse, she wondered to herself, ‘Is this something that I should do for the rest of my working life? Surely I can do more’.

Then one day she saw a TV programme about the Tokyo 2020 Games which said, 'These young people aspire to compete in the Olympic Games and win the gold’. This inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse.

For two years she was a daughter-in-law, wife, mother, practical nurse, and student. She was working hard and sleeping little.

At last in 2019, at the age of 53, Anan acquired her own 'gold medal' – a national nursing certificate. She understood then that to have a dream has nothing to do with age. Now, she knows that one must have a strong will to pursue your dreams, and eventually people will support one in one’s endeavours.

Now with only six years until retirement, she strives to care for her patients’ safety and well-being, protecting lives in her community together with the team at her medical institution.

What made you want to become a registered nurse?

I acquired a helper’s certificate when I got married so that I could be of use to my parents and grandparents. When my grandfather passed away, I was very ashamed that, although I was able to care for him, I did not understand much about medical treatment. My beloved grandfather gave me my dream of becoming a registered nurse.

How did you feel when at the age of 41 you took a step toward fulfilling your dream?

I felt that even at 41, I could do it if I tried. However, I was painfully aware that, because peoples’ lives are in one’s hands, the job brings great responsibility. I set my sights on becoming a registered nurse while working as an instructor in emergency medicine.

How were you influenced by athletes and others who strive for their goals? And what do you look forward to at the Tokyo 2020 Games?

People who apply themselves constantly are confident of themselves, and I am struck by the sparkle in their eyes. Hard work every day leads to confidence, and to mental fortitude in due course. I would like the Games to be a competition where everyone can realise that talent can only prevail by putting effort.

How does it feel to work now that you have realised your dream?

Although I realised my dream and am working as a registered nurse, there is still knowledge I lack. Although I will turn 55 this year, I want to continue to approach my work with the attitude I had at the beginning, learning the profession by interacting with my colleagues, and supporting my family, who for so long supported me.

For whom do you want to be seen bearing the torch? And what do you want to tell them?

My family, who supported me so that I could become a registered nurse. I want all the people who have supported me to see me run. I want to tell everyone in my community that age is irrelevant when you pursue a dream, and that I want them each to attain the gold medal of their dreams.