Susana Rodriguez of Spain hopes the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will send a positive message to the world.
S. Rodríguez Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
At the start of 2020, Susana Rodriguez Gacio, a physician from Spain and the reigning world champion in the Para triathlon, was looking forward to taking time off to prepare for and compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Everyone on Earth is prepared for what comes next.
However, Rodriguez found herself at the Forefront of her County’s Response to COVID-19.
She helps people get back to normal by working as an occupational therapist for them after they’ve been Hospitalised.
“At the height of the COVID epidemic, I was assisting patients in their recovery while simultaneously supporting the hospital’s efforts to diagnose and treat those who had contracted the disease.”
The stress of working multiple shifts, long hours, and unpredictable schedules was constant.
She explained, “It was challenging for me as a blind person, as I rely on touching. Because of how hazardous touching was with COVID 19, however, that rule was broken. That meant plenty of dusting and maintaining my distance.
Rodriguez was able to devote more time to her employment and finishing her medical training in physical medicine and rehabilitation because the Olympics were postponed.
Extra effort was required from the summer into the fall of this year, but her efforts paid off as she became the first blind person in Spain to earn that certification.
The hospital recognised her efforts and offered her a second year of employment, but she turned down the offer in order to focus on the postponed Games.
The world champion of 2018 and 2019 said, “I decided to focus now on Tokyo instead since it has been a hard year – it has been so demanding and stressful.”
The Spaniard has Decided to Dedicate himself fully to his Athletic Career for the Time being.
She and her trainer, Luis Pia, travelled to the island of Lanzarote in the Canaries to get some training in.
It has good roads, so we’re going there to train on those, and then we’ll go to the south of Spain to get some altitude training in,” she explained.
Now that she’s settled on this schedule, Rodriguez appreciates the time she has to recuperate between her morning and afternoon workouts.
“I used to workout in the morning, go to work, and then come back in the evening,” she explained. With this newfound downtime I can get back in shape between sessions.
After Spending so many Years in School, Job, and Training,
I found that the life of an athlete provided a new and refreshing outlook on things because of the ease with which one can bounce back from setbacks.
After what happened last year, I just couldn’t get back on my feet. Now that I can look back, I recognise the importance of my efforts, but I also know that they were quite taxing.
Rodriguez and her guide will leave Lanzarote in early August to join a chosen group of Spanish comrades in an isolated environment.
From that point forward until the conclusion of the Games, she will be unable to interact with anyone outside of that group.
The high heat she anticipates in Tokyo during the Games caused her to regrettably cancel her final training session in Japan itself owing to the bubble. “We have to accept and respect the choice,” she said, “but it’s vital to get used to the Tokyo heat.”
Rodriguez’s new guide dog, Yellow, will undergo additional training after the Games, marking yet another major transition in her life.
She laughed and said, “He’s nine months old and a bit unruly, but already he’s made a tremendous difference to me and gives me greater confidence when out on the street.”
The Puppy was given the name after the hit song by Coldplay.
She said, “It’s my favourite song.” Superstitions don’t mean anything to me because all they do is waste time. All that is required is that you pay attention to the sights and sounds around you.
She went on to say, “Japan has worked so hard to offer us a fantastic Games, and while it’s sad we may not have the whole Games experience these are still the full Olympic and Paralympic Games, and being able to get there safely and give a decent performance after everything that has happened is good.”
We can send a message of hope to the world.