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There is no insurmountable obstacle if we help each other. This is the leitmotiv of the last great challenge Gema Hassen-Bey has embarked on. The Paralympic medalist is a volunteer for the ‘SOS 4×4’ initiative, for which several off-road drivers travel to hospitals with medical or sick people and have even rescued people who have been trapped on the road by the heavy snowfall of the storm. And how did it all start? First, thanks to Ted and his shovel. Later, thanks to Ford and his Raptor —The world’s first adapted. “I have a Swedish neighbor who helped me open a path to the car and I thought that was the best tool to help others. I believe in teamwork. It is a chain. When all else fails we always have each other. If you move, the world moves with you. When I found out about the 4×4 initiative, I got involved and have been helping out. Mine is not important, it is a grain of sand. There are people who have spent thirteen hours without stopping, without eating, paying for gasoline … I want to remove that paternalism that there is always towards people with disabilities. We all need help and we can help“, explains the fencer to AS.
His experience this Wednesday has been very satisfactory and tomorrow Thursday he does not rule out repeating. “I have taken people to Puerta de Hierro, I helped another car that was stranded … The highways and main streets are clear, but the others are more complicated. I have seen photos of some Raptors pulling a truck and even police cars. They are very powerful. I have the best car in the world and it has been Thanks to the collaboration of Ford in the challenge, he helped me with the logistics on Teide and we made this prototype. It makes the difficult easy. It gives me a lot of security. I am not afraid and I go everywhere. I do not collaborate so much because I am taking care of my mother. I have to leave her ready and go out very carefully due to the pandemic. I take advantage of the sunny hours. What I do is an anecdote. I like the group and I think I’m going to stay. I think it’s nice that we connect and help everyone “, argues Gema Hassen-Bey, who in these hard times, from Filomena and COVID-19, continues to find inspiration in sports: “In life you win and lose and both things enrich. Now we live in difficult moments and there we are on our ground. That is where we move, in overcoming difficulties. If there is a difficulty there is a challenge “.
The Madrilenian is a waste of energy, optimism, courage … And her words convey it. Now he has had to postpone some plans – such as his assault on the Kilimanjaro, which he has been working on since 2014 – but plans to resume them when the pandemic passes. Meanwhile, each adversity continues to be one more training to continue conquering the impossible. Something common for this pioneer. “The importance of the challenge is not to go up but to leave a technological legacy. Sport helped me to live and then the medals came. I never did it to be the best in the world, but to make a better world. The bottom line is the path. The most important thing that sport has given me are not medals. I do fencing, he has given me weapons to live. I think about the team, about us, leaving aside those egos that are the evil of our time. We have to take care of ourselves and help each other“, he recommends.
This chain of solidarity, of which Gema is already a link, is also suffering incomprehensible acts of vandalism. “We do not have to throw stones on our own roof. There are people breaking windows of the 4×4, others are fined … it is the counterpoint to something positive and beautiful, that they are people willing to give a hand to others“, wields this champion inside and outside the sport:” Paint a 2021 of resilience. I have had several confinements. Due to a back operation, I did not move from bed for a whole year. Also on Mount Teide I had to be locked in the tent. When there are difficulties you make tools that later help you. Of my five Games I keep the experience and the sword, which is my most precious object, represents struggle and overcoming. Now is the time to lose and surely from all this we will also win. I tell my friends, notice now that I can’t go out, because that’s how many people live in chairs in many parts of the world. That’s why I do the challenge. Imagine facilitating your mobility in snow, jungle or mountain … It would change your life. There is no greater medal and I will not give up. “His fight transcends the here and now, his fight pursues a future without limits.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.