21-year-old Spanish surfer won’t let her disability stand in the way of her dreams.
Carmen Lopez has recently become Spain’s first female blind athlete in the visually-impaired section of the annual World Adaptive Surfing Championships in California in the USA.
The event was created to give surfers with physical challenges an opportunity to compete in a Paralympic-style, world-class competition.
Lopez shares a flat with her mom and two dogs in the northern Spanish town of Salinas. But the sea is where she feels most at home. She has also practiced figure-skating and horse-riding but riding the surf remains her passion.
“With everything I do, I want to show people every day that if you want something, you can get it. Whether you have a disability or not, the most important thing is that you do what you like. People put up their own barriers, no one else does,” says Lopez.
Carmen was born with congenital glaucoma and lost her vision completely when she was a child. In the sea, she is guided by instinct and signals, whistled to her by her coach, Lucas Garcia.
The International Surfing Association has been campaigning to make adaptive surfing a Paralympic Sport.
So it goes without saying that Lopez’s next goal is to compete in the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, France.
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