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They say that 50% of sports is mental, and these athletes qualified for the London Games attest to this. Your turn comes Aug. 29 when 142 Spanish will join other countries in 4000 the Paralympics, where they hope to leave Spain, at least in as good a place as in Beijing, where were tenth with 58 medals. If one day they decided that their functional diversity did not have to be a judgment, now are clear that it is a challenge to have gotten the hang. Among other things, because thanks to the sport have won independence, freedom and autonomy. "It is not just part of rehabilitation, but integration, standardization and do things for yourself," said the sailor Carolina López. None of the Spanish Paralympic spectator sports practice, some have very severe disabilities also are women. A perfect combination for having to work. twice? Something in that. To begin because the media attention does not come even remotely, to that of their peers without disabilities. But also, because being elite athlete and woman still remains exceptional: if the percentage that went to the Olympics for Spain was around 40% representation in the Paralympics remains at 23%. Maybe that's why you can come and hang one medalla.Peromerit is not enough. "It's nice to participate, but all leave with sharp nails, medals are overpriced!" Says Raquel Acinas, cyclist and as all of them champions on the track and in life.


Raquel Acinas: "" If I have only one leg, I want to use it "
34, technical architect.
"Eight years ago I had the traffic accident that left leg amputated me. Before long it was going to the gym and I always liked the sport, but the truth is that it was time I had the mountain bike parked. However, a year and a few months after the accident, I got on a bike and I reclosing. I was looking for a sport to let me use the right leg if I had one, wanted to use. So I went to the Horta Velodrome and met a group of amazing people, including my trainer, Bernat Moreno. I thought you promised that, even today. Soon after starting, in 2006, was champion of Spain and that was the turning point: I started working less and less and train more and more. Some peoplehe thinks with a disability can not exercise, and that is false. We will have to look for the turns, need adaptations, but always something you can do. This year I ran the Championship of Spain against the female, which was first made together, and the experience has been great. Although many participants ran "whole", in the first part of the lap I was among the first. What do I expect of these Paralympics? Being on the podium! Amount because I like and enjoy it. So if you do not bring medal, not just the world ".

Elena Jacinto: "Who was going to say that in a wheelchair would be happy!"
27 years, working in insurance DKV
"Within two months of the suicide attempt which ended up in a wheelchair, tried to tennis. I was at the Institute Guttmann Neurorehabilitation and teacher came to convince me that I tried. No bad gave me and helped me out of the doldrums in which it was. Pretty tired, both physically and psychologically, but I compensate. If not, would devote so many hours, because in the end, between work and training, I have no time for anything. And that I have luck because in my work I haveexceedances allowed to ask to go to tournaments. If sport is more support for the disabled, surely he could devote more time to tennis. Still, I improved, and have qualified as a reward. Before the accident, I would never have raised this. Then I thought to stay in a wheelchair would be the worst thing that could happen. Who was going to say it now, in a chair, when I got to be happy! It is a pride that I managed. The sport helps a lot to live independently. Not only because you develop the strength you need for your day to day, but also because it teaches you what seemed impossible at first it is not so difficult. The limits often mark them ourselves. It is true that I can not climb stairs with your feet, but there is always a way to get ".

Sara Martinez: "In Athens I was 14, was the youngest of those games"
22 years, early childhood educator.
"I started in athletics with eight years and loved it, especially running. What I found so funny was the long jump, but at age 12 I majored in it and at 14 I participated in my first Paralympics in that discipline, I was the athleteyoungest of these Games. Even then it was not very aware of what it meant, when I started to take it more seriously. Slowly I got involved, got my second Paralympics in Beijing, and now here I am, training six days a week about three hours daily, five hours a day when I'm in a concentration. I think the sport you balances and open your mind. I have a visual disability of 81%, but that has not made me feel different, I could do the same things, or nearly so, to my friends. I may not unfold like a running track, but with the adjustments (in the long jump event, instead of stepping on a board 30 inches we do in 1 m2 of lime), the technique is the same. Perhaps what is needed is to encourage more sport for disabled and fewer differences with unsuitable. For example, the Prime Minister dismissed the Olympic ... but we are not going to fire anyone. Although advances, it becomes very slow. So we are still few, but we hope to leave Spain in good stead. This is the first time I go to a real options Paralympics, my brand is 5.81 m and I hope to improve it in the London Games. If I return with medal? I make a party ".

Carolina Lopez: "Sport gives you independence and freedom. You can add "
36, a graduate in business
"Until the accident for which I was in a wheelchair, I have a spinal cord injury tetraplegia only allows me mobility chest upward-was that, at best, going for a walk to the field. But after the accident I met the Foundation also adapted sports, and started doing some cycle route, diving, skiing ... Until I met the sail, where the sense of freedom is huge. I started surfing with a friend, Fernando Alvarez, and despite having little time training, we decided to introduce us to the test Sailing Federation convenes to select the team preparalímpico. The surprise came when we got to qualify for the Games. I face the challenge with a lot of enthusiasm, I never imagined getting here. In fact, when my friends heard me say, "I can not believe. If you've never seen in tracksuits ". The accident was a radical change in my life because I spent to depend on one person for everything. At first all I found it a world. But when the Foundation met people able to do things that I never raised me, I changed my perspective. The sport helps the feeling of independence and freedom, and if you want to, you can ... long as you have support. So I think that integration should start from below, fromschools. There is nothing positive segregation ".

Elena Congost: "This year's medal chance, as my friend Mireia"
24 years, Diploma in Teaching.
"You have to sacrifice a lot to get to the Games, so just connecting with people who have your same routines. Share room with Mireia Belmonte in the High Performance Centre of Sant Cugat and, when we have some free time, go to the movies as much. When I started it was just a hobby, I never thought I would be professional. So when did the minimum to the Athens Olympics, we were shocked everyone. That came great: I was 16 and the stadium full of people overtook me. The Beijing enjoyed them more, but knew he had no options. But now there are chances of medal I approach it differently, do their best to turn the diffi culties of each. In my case, I was born with optic nerve damage and train when there are factors that force me to try harder: the balance is affected when the power goes out, I can no longer train ... Then and competition, the difference with the Olympics is that some girls prefer to run with a guide and so the end is reduced to six runnersinstead of 10, because if not, would fit. So you have to work, but only for the people who support you, worth it ".

(Styling: JORGE Gilarranz and YOLANDA ARMENGOL / Photo Assistant: CHEM MUDERA / Makeup and hair: for MONCHO LARA LETICIA MORENO, RICARDO SHEILA SERRANO and Calero (TALENTS).

 

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