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Mind over matter: Amazing sports brother and sister

By Krishna Villena

 Perhaps the names of Ana Isabel and Cristobal Tavera Gonzalez do not sound familiar to us yet, but we better become accustomed to them because these two athletes, brother and sister, born in the community of Cienega Juana Ruiz in the municipality of San Miguel de Allende, are highly likely to represent our country at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Due to a type of inherited progressive retinal dystrophy called retinitis pigmentosa, Ana Isabel and Cristobal are visual impaired. However, this has not been an obstacle to their determination to become the best athletes born in this city but, instead,  a powerful motivation to achieve everything they have ever dreamed of.

On April 20 they will be participating in the preliminary qualifier competition at the National Center for High Performance Sports (CENARD) of Mexico City, after this test they will be closer to obtaining their pass to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The process of becoming athletes started, according to Cristobal, because they grew up in campo and became accustomed to walk long distances. Later, other athletes gave them the inspiration they needed to start running professionally. Other committed athletes such as David Gutierrez, Dario Gallegos, Juan Carlos Chavez and Aldo Gomez among others, have been a huge help for the Taveras in their quest to achieve their goals.

For her part, Ana Isabel said that she is proud of what has been achieved for several reasons, “Because I am a woman, because I come from a community where resources are limited and because I have the qualities to be an athlete and I’ll continue my accomplishments.” For her, it is gratifying that she has found the balance that compensates  for not being able to see, since by means of sport she has traveled to Guatemala, Spain and Turkey representing Mexico.

Currently the Taveras have financial support from the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sport of Guanajuato and the Municipal Committee of the Sport in San Miguel de Allende, but unfortunately, as we all know, the lack of knowledge about sports for people with disabilities is still an issue, not just in our country but around the world, and the help is never enough, so there is an open invitation  to anyone wishing to contribute to the mission of these young warriors, who with their actions show us that beyond the darkness there’s always a chance to make our life full of colors and make our dreams come true. For more information please send amail to Cristobal:  taverago@hotmail.com.

 Cristóbal Tavera González

Cristóbal is 34 years old. He is married and has three children, he works as a promoter and instructor of education for the blind in the Municipal Library of San Miguel. He competes in disability class T11; he won the second place in the selective 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara. In the last times race he ran the 1500 meters run in 4 minutes and 43’ seconds. His guide is Aldo Gomez Hernandez.

Ana Isabel Tavera González

Ana Isabel is 24 years old,. She is unmarried and works as promoter and instructor of education for the blind in Dolores Hidalgo. She is ranked among the best nine athletes of the 1500 meters run in disability class T12. She won the third place in the Spanish Championship for Adapted Sports in 2010. In the last times race she ran the 1500 meters run in 5 minutes and 25 seconds. Her guide is David Gutierrez Miranda.

El poder de la voluntad: grandes deportistas de San Miguel

Por Krishna Villena

Quizá los nombres de Ana Isabel y Cristóbal Tavera González, no nos sean familiares por ahora, pero, más vale que nos vayamos acostumbrando a ellos porque estos hermanos, ambos atletas y nacidos en la comunidad de Ciénega de Juana Ruiz del municipio de San Miguel de Allende tienen grandes probabilidades de representar a nuestro país en los Juegos Paraolímpicos de Londres 2012.

Debido a un padecimiento genético-degenerativo llamado retinosis pigmentaria, Ana Isabel es débil visual, aún puede ver un poco y Cristóbal ha perdido la vista en su totalidad, sin embargo, ello no ha significado un obstáculo en su determinación de convertirse en los mejores corredores que haya dado este lugar sino un aliciente para seguir adelante en todo lo que se han propuesto. El 20 de abril participarán en la primera eliminatoria en el Centro Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo (CENARD) de la Ciudad de México, después de esta prueba se encontrarán más cerca de obtener su pase a los Juegos Olímpicos y Paraolímpicos Londres 2012.

El proceso de convertirse en atletas inicia, según Cristóbal, gracias a que desde niños vivieron en el campo y se acostumbraron a caminar distancias largas. Después fue la motivación que otros atletas inspiraron en ellos y decidieron intentarlo, rodeándose poco a poco de un equipo de personas y organizaciones comprometidas con el deporte como David Gutiérrez Miranda, Darío Gallegos, Juan Carlos Chávez (alias el Jagger) y Aldo Gómez Hernández entre otros.

Por su parte, Ana Isabel dice que está orgullosa de lo que ha logrado por varias razones, “porque soy mujer, porque vengo de una comunidad donde los recursos son limitados y porque tengo las cualidades para ser deportista y quiero continuar cosechando logros”. Para ella, es gratificante haber encontrado el balance que compensa no poder ver, ya que por medio del deporte ha viajado a Guatemala, España y Turquía representando a México.

Actualmente estos destacados corredores, reciben apoyo económico de la Comisión Estatal de Cultura Física y Deporte de Guanajuato y de la Comisión Municipal del Deporte de San Miguel de Allende pero desafortunadamente sabemos que la falta de conocimiento sobre deportes para personas con capacidades diferentes aún es muy grande y la ayuda nunca es suficiente. La invitación está abierta para todo aquel que desee aportar a la hazaña de estos jóvenes guerreros, quienes con sus acciones nos muestran que más allá de la oscuridad es posible hacer que la vida esté llena de color y que es posible hacer nuestros sueños realidad. Para información sobre cómo ayudar, por favor escriba a Cristóbal Tavera a: taverago@hotmail.com.

 

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