by Laura López Lázaro
A few weeks ago, before leaving for Tokyo, we were lucky enough to speak with Teresa Perales, who is currently competing in the Olympics. 27 Paralympic medals, 22 in world championships and 43 in European championships. The one in Zaragoza is from another planet and, without a doubt, an example for all Paralympic athletes, inside and outside of Spain.
In June, he received the Princess of Asturias Award for Sports, in a year that, for her, has been, at the same time, exciting because of the prospect of facing a new Olympic Games and complicated, because a shoulder injury has put everything very uphill. In any case, she is very grateful for the award: “It is also something very beautiful. It is a possibility of breaking down barriers for many Paralympic athletes, since, sometimes, it is difficult for us to find our niche. And, of course, for sportswomen, as only seven of us have received this award ”.
Teresa Perales is Paralympic swimmer with the most medals at a Games, adding a total of 27. The last one, in fact, has arrived just a few hours ago. She is, without a doubt, one of the best Spanish athletes in history and a true reference for her teammates. These are her sixth Games, since she debuted in Sydney 2000, and she is convinced that they will not be the last. In fact, he is only one medal away from reaching Michael Phelps’ record, with 28, and if injury does not allow him to achieve it this year, he assures that he will do so in Paris 2024. For her, stopping is not an option.
The swimmer is very proud when talking about the state of form in which our paralympic delegation to Tokyo: “We expect a lot of medals this year. And it’s nice, because, among all of them, there will be many female medals. And as a woman, as an athlete, I am very excited. I see a very strong delegation. We have given everything and we have done very well ”. He assures that, to achieve this, they have had a lot of support from the Spanish Paralympic Committee, but they have also had the support of brands such as Iberdrola.
Since 2005, the company has supported Paralympic sport, hand in hand with the Paralympic Committee, through the Paralympic Objective Sport Aid Plan, the ADOP Plan. In this way, it has offered many athletes the financial means necessary to face an appointment like this. “The ADOP Plan even allows us to dedicate ourselves exclusively to sports practice. For me, when it was approved, it was a huge milestone in the Paralympic movement. One before and one after. But, in addition, Iberdrola, with the projects of Universe Woman, it gives us an even more intensive push to female athletes ”, says Teresa.
And he also explains that, as an athlete, he likes that the sponsors and the brands that support them put a face on them: “that they see in us the stories and the result of their support, which, in the end, is the most important thing. Let them see that what they are doing is really worth it. And that we can fulfill our dreams, too, thanks to their support ”. And, precisely, starting from this idea, Iberdrola has presented INVINCIBLES, a series that was born with the aim of making Paralympic sport visible. If you want to know more about her, visit invincibles.es.