Leidy Ramírez and her great goal: the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

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After winning a bronze medal in the World Cup of Paracycling in the Netherlands, the Colombian special condition athlete focuses on new goals

Leidy Ramírez and her great goal: the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

On January 5, 1991, Leidy Ramírez, who is today an outstanding Paralympic athlete of cycling, was born in Bogota. After 22 months of birth, Leidy was affected by a hip disarticulation that caused her to lose her left leg. Due to that condition, today she is located in the Paralympic sport as category C2. Ramírez herself tells us that any similar problem that you have from the knee down, places the Paralympic athlete in the category.

Leer en español: Leidy Ramírez y su gran objetivo: los Juegos Paralímpicos Tokyo 2020

Ramírez opened a space in his agenda so that Latin American Post could know more about the Leidy athlete, and about the citizen Leidy, who is like you and like us.

"I'm 28 years old, I live with my two brothers, my mother died a year ago. I work in a family business, the Fulle Cafeteria, which is run by my brothers. I am close to finishing my studies in Graphic Design at the Universidad Panamericana de Compensar, where I am currently in the ninth semester. I arrived late to cycling, but I do not rule out being in both jobs at the same time ", is the first thing she says.

Read also: Exclusive interview with Eligio Vento: A look at the life of a Paralympic athlete

Why did you choose cycling and not other sports?

Leidy says, that, as in many other cases, her love with the bicycle was at first sight. "Since I was little, cycling attracted my attention, my first gift was a bicycle, I also played football, especially in school, but with time it was cycling that marked the way for me".

LP: Does Paralympic sport receive the same attention as traditional sports?

"It's very sad, a lot of support is missing, we travel with what we have. In our case, we only receive a minimum salary from the League of Cundinamarca. The results before a classification help us a lot. The prizes that are received are mainly for winning the medal. "

Ramírez confessed that she herself had to get the track bike, the road bike, and that, in general, Paralympic cycling must touch many doors so they can receive help. "Always every athlete, conventional or Paralympic, must fight to get their things, but it is true that a conventional professional cyclist has greater options to enter professional teams and thanks to that, improve their conditions. In our case, there are no such professional teams, " she said.

LP: How do you describe the Paracycling World Cup experience?

She could not miss his description of that scratch competition in which she stayed with the bronze. "It was at Appledoorn, Holland, and it was a surprise for me because I did not expect to win medals, but at the same time, I always trusted my qualities."

Ramírez explained that the scratch is a 10-kilometer semi-round race, consisting of 40 laps, in which the whole group is rolling at a certain speed until the escape begins. "When there were 9 laps left, already in the black line (the traditional line to print speed), I positioned myself in 6th place with 2 laps remaining, there the representative of China attacked and I saw my chance to overcome France, Australia, and New Zealand. Finally, China was left with gold and Australia with silver. "

Recall that, in the aforementioned event held in Holland, Colombia won a gold, on behalf of Diego Dueñas in the scratch, while Carolina Munevar won the silver in the individual pursuit. The two bronze medals for the coffee nation came thanks to Leidy in the scratch and Dueñas himself in the individual pursuit. In addition to the aforementioned medalists, Colombia also had a participation in the persons of Javier Serna and Marlon Pérez in 4 km individual pursuit, and Alejandro Perea in the 1-kilometer time trial.

Leidy added that the key to this competition is more knowing where to position in order to get the right space and not fall. In relation to the 500 meters against the clock, she was among the first 7. "In that competition, there were not so many expectations about me, but in Carolina (Daniela Munevar), a candidate to win the gold and who was left with the money. I achieved the main goal that was to qualify, " she said.

LP: What are Leidy Ramírez's plans for 2019?

There remain eight and a half months of the 2019 calendar and Leidy shared with Latin American Post what will be her remaining calendar. "Right now we are going to the Parapanamericanos in Peru, and the scratch maybe I will qualify for Tokyo 2020, I have a ticket secured on the track and if I won the podium in the World Championship, I will also qualify for Tokyo".

What remains of programming 2019, has for Leidy the following order: the National Route in Villavicencio (Colombia) in April, the World Cup in Italy in May, the Parapan Am Games in Lima in August, the Road World in Holland in September, and finally the National Paralympic Games in the department of Bolívar in November.

LP: What would be your message for all those people who have some special condition? And which one for Colombian youth?

Ramírez left two messages. The first for the disabled population: "Things do not happen by chance, things happen for something. There is to take advantage of this disability in the best way because it is not a limitation but rather an opportunity to do something different ".

Finally, she expressed his words for the Colombian youth: "if you really have a dream, you must find a way to achieve it and if you want to fulfill that dream, you must focus on the person you want to be and be more independent. You have to fight every day for that goal. "

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "Leidy Ramírez y su gran objetivo: los juegos paralímpicos Tokyo 2020"

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