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Disability is not an impediment

That's what Mario Gutierrez understands. We talked to the Mendoza athlete, who told us his life story.

Stories of people
La discapacidad no es un impedimento

In  1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 December as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  Its main objective is to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development. Adapted sport is of great importance in the personal and social development of the individual who practices it.

 A witness case 

 Mario Gutierrez has been an athlete for more than 30 years, is 58 years old and serves as a marathon.  In addition, he has a motor disability due to the sequel of poliomyelitis. In February this year, the prominent athlete, for the first time crossed the  Cordillera de Los Andes  by handbike (handbike),  a three-wheeled bicycle that is propelled, steered and braked with the arms. Mario made the journey with the Cordovan athlete Santiago Gutiérrez, both with different motor disabilities, and traveled a total of 17 kilometers, ascending to about 4,000 meters above sea level. 

The lasherino sportsman  began at the age of 15 , having undergone all the rehabilitation processes in IRPI (Institute of Rehabilitation against Child Paralysis), doing gymnastics in the Club of  Gymnastics and Fencing . Since his parents could not pay the fees, he offered to clean and accommodate the gym, in exchange for being able to do activities there, learning a lot about everything related to training.  Then he did basketball on a wheelchair. And in 1989, when he crossed the Andes Mountains for the first time in the history of the Andean massif, along with other athletes, he discovered his current passion that is wheelchair adapted athletics, with provincial, national and international participation. 

Mario confesses to having discovered tremendous physical potential, remnant in areas not affected by polio.  Sport is his life. It considers that it is a means of accompanying the  rehabilitation  process  and that manifests inclusion and generosity with their peers, is to encourage and motivate people with or without disabilities, is to see the reality of the world of disability. He claims to have met wonderful people, caressed the glory, as well as the defeats that served to detect mistakes and not to repeat them again.

He explained that sports activity in people with disabilities is fundamental: be it playful, therapeutic, recreational, competitive or high competition. This allows to overcome itself, leaving aside all the limitations that are drawn or imposed oneself.  This freedom and independence not being dependent on assistance depending on the degree of injury to the disability. 

 Disability Area of the Undersecretary of Sports 

The Department of Social and Community Sports has the Disability Area, responsible for providing support to athletes in projection and high performance, coordinating the Sanmartinian Games and Evita National Games; promoting athletics, tennis and trekking, among other disciplines.

The team of professionals working in the area, headed by Mario Gutierrez, does so in order to promote, organize and support sports practice in coordination with sports directorates and/or competent jurisdictions; coordinate and implement training programs with municipalities for persons with disabilities; promote the integration of organizations linked to adapted sports activities and monitor the areas where  adapted sports is carried out.

Publication Date: 29/12/2020

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