About seven years have passed since Miyuki Kano, a 41-year-old former Olympic volleyball player, entered into the world of deaf sports as a volleyball coach, taking over the position of her friend who died of cancer.

Kano’s time as a coach has been a success, with Japan’s women’s deaf volleyball team earning the top rank in the world last year. But at the same time, she has felt it is difficult to keep athletes motivated unless deaf sports become more widely recognized in Japan.

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