09/03/2021 at 11:03 CEST
Can you imagine going from one city to another for work in a country that is not yours and that suddenly a hurricane will catch you and I threw you down the ravine without anyone seeing you?
This situation, more worthy of a movie than reality, is what happened to the Chilean athlete Francisca Mardones, gold medal in weight sitting at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with a world record included after sending the weight to 8.33 meters.
It is not the first time that Mardones has competed, as these are her third Games after London 2012 and Rio 2016. However, in those other events the Chilean athlete represented Chile in wheelchair tennis.
Mardones practiced sports as a child Later, she decided to study Tourism and Hotel Administration, which led her to do an internship in several countries. It was his luck to travel to Culebra, one of the Virgin Islands of Puerto Rico. You must have thought it was like a lottery to be able to work in such a heavenly place. But it was not for Francisca, who in November 1999 saw how while she was moving from the municipality got caught by Hurricane Lenny. The force of the wind threw her down a ravine and Francisca hit her back that was definitive. He could not move his legs and no one knew his whereabouts. Two days passed until they rescued her and from then on her life was an ordeal.
Four years of rehabilitation
It took four years of rehabilitation and several operations to return to being Francisca, although now sitting in a wheelchair. He found his return to the sport in chair tennis. I needed again to feel the sensation of competing, of sweating, of doing physical exercise in short, just as I did when I was young with basketball or volleyball.. He liked it so much that he even gave tennis lessons to children with mobility problems.
But in 2017 a new accident where he cut his right hand with a knife in the kitchen and his nerves were affected. By then he had already made a little foray into athletics and decided to park his racket and throw himself into throwing.
The biggest success, in Tokyo
Four years and many hours of work later, Francisca Mardones saw her dream of being an Olympic champion fulfilled in Tokyo. And she did it in a big way, beating the world record that she owned. (8.19 meters) on two occasions. In her third launch she launched the weight to 8.21 meters and finally in her last launch with 8.33 meters she was proclaimed champion and left a mark difficult to overcome.
He also had to participate in the javelin throw, but he ruled it out on prescription as he wore out a lot on the weight test.
Dedicated to his father
Mardones had his number one fan in his father. He was one of his pillars after the accident but in 2019 he died. ‘Fran’ learned of his death hours before competing in the Dubai World Cup, but decided to move on and thus could dedicate the triumph and the world record to him. There was also a dedication in Tokyo: “Paralympic GOLD and double WORLD RECORD !!!! Again we did it dear daddy !!!”he wrote on his Instagram account.
Inspire the first Chilean ‘Barbie’
The story of Francisca Mardones goes far beyond sports. His desire to improve, his perseverance, his work and his will to be an elite athlete did not go unnoticed by the Mattel toy house, who created a ‘Barbie’ inspired by the Chilean pitcher: “I never imagined that one day I would tell you that I have become the first Chilean barbie !! Thank you very much to @Barbie for the emotional tribute! I am overflowing with emotion to see a Paralympic bullet-throwing barbie,” she wrote on her Twitter.
But I am especially excited because with this doll the children of the world will be motivated by the practice of sport !! Motivating them to be our future champions is what fills my heart the most! ❤️🇨🇱 #mattel #barbie #tupuedesserloquequierasser #barbiegirl #chilena pic.twitter.com/jDlm9t0lRS
– Francisca Mardones (@Fran_Mardones) August 23, 2021
The Chilean athlete recognizes that having her ‘Barbie’ will be a great way to normalize adapted sport: “It is going to encourage children to@s of the world are motivated with the practice of sport !! Motivating them to be our future champions is what fills my heart the most! “