Friday, September 21, 2007

Meet my new friend Adriano Lima, Paralympic gold medalist. On Tuesday I had the enormous privilege of interviewing Adriano Lima who is a student at Cultura Inglesa, Tirol unit. Adriano, who has minimal use of his legs, is a member with the Brazilian national swimming team. He has a gold medal from the Athens games where he was a winner in the relay. The medals he is holding in the picture are from this summer's Pan America Games which were in Rio. Adriano picked up seven gold medals, in front of a partisan home audience which included his wife and baby daughter Gabriella.

The reason for the interview is that Cultura produces an annual magazine which is given to parents and this will feature in it. Some excerpts from the article I'm working on about him:

How did his swimming career begin? Adriano, who has minimal use of both his legs, was not crippled from birth. He worked as construction worker until he was 17. But, 1990 was a fateful year for Adriano, as he fell off a high wall and broke his back, a terrible incident that was to deprive him of the use of his legs. This tragedy could have cut short Adriano’s hopes of a happy and fulfilled life. After what must have been three difficult years Adriano took to swimming and his evident skills were noticed. Soon, he was competing in his first competition in Recife at an event where he came home with a haul of gold medals. One year later, he was astonished to find himself on a plane to Italy, competing for his country internationally. Despite a harsh start to adult life Adriano seems free of bitterness in spite of the accident. “I’m very happy”, he says with a contended smile on his face. “I have no complaints about my life”.

I ask him about his routine, his training and diet. “Every day, I swim five hours and then I go to the gym for two hours”, he explains. “I never drink beer or soft drinks and never smoke”. And what food does a top class athlete like to eat? “I like to eat food like beans and rice. We eat a lot of fish and white meat to make us strong".

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