Paralympic sport | Invincibles by Iberdrola
Proud to support paralympic sport
Iberdrola has collaborated with the ADOP Plan, the Spanish plan to support paralympians, since it was initially created in 2005. The plan aims to provide Spanish paralympic athletes with the best possible conditions to train and achieve success in the Paralympic Games.
The ADOP Plan External link, opens in new window. is an initiative by the Spanish Paralympic Committee, the Higher Sports Council (CSD) and the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030. Its existence is made possible by financial contributions from companies like Iberdrola, which took the decision to invest in paralympic sport as a way of transmitting the values that these athletes represent — such as effort, determination and teamwork — to society. The company was one of the first sponsors of this programme, which was launched in 2005, and it continues to be totally committed to paralympic sport.
The ADOP Plan includes a Scholarship Programme which provides athletes with financial aid so they can focus on sport as their main activity, and a Programme of Services that includes an integral training support system, with training at high performance facilities and a medical service, among others. It also has a Direct Federation Sponsorship Programme and a Social Dissemination and Sponsor Return Programme.
At present, a total of 22 disciplines are considered paralympic sports. Paralympic sports include both conventional sports in which people with disabilities can take part without modification, as well as sports that have been adapted for people with disabilities and created specifically for these participants.
Just as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulates Olympic sports, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) supervises the Paralympic Games through its national federations. There are two categories of Paralympic Games: the winter games (alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, biathlon, chair curling and ice hockey) and the summer games (athletics, chair basketball, boccia, cycling, riding, wheelchair fencing, 5-a-side football, goalball, weightlifting, judo, swimming, paratriathlon, canoeing, rowing, chair rugby, table tennis, archery and Olympic shooting).
'INVINCIBLES', A SERIES THAT RAISES THE PROFILE OF PARALYMPIC SPORT
Presenting 'Invincibles', a series that raises the profile of paralympic sport.
To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which is held on 3 December 2020 every year, Iberdrola launched Invincibles External link, opens in new window., a set of interviews designed to raise the profile of paralympic sport in Spain and underline values such as the will to succeed, the desire to chase your dreams and the capacity to forge ahead. Meet the stars!
LOIDA ZABALA, WEIGHTLIFTER
When it is possible to lift everything, there is no place for fear
"I don't know if there's such a thing as fate. But if it exists, I know I can lift it." Loida Zabala lost the mobility of her lower body at the age of 11 due to transverse myelitis. She started weight training as part of her recovery and, at the age of 19, she was already a Spanish champion. She currently has two world championships, 15 Spanish championships and three Opens of the Americas. And, not content with success in the world of sport, she now wants to do the same on stage and become an actress. The athlete, who will represent Spain in Tokyo acknowledges Iberdrola's work in support of Paralympians External link, opens in new window. and thanks it for the Premio Iberdrola SuperA Inclusión, awarded to her charity project in 2020 Mucho por hacer, which brings sport closer to people who have suffered spinal injuries.
EVA MORAL, TRIATHLETE
Luck will never have the last word
"If you stake everything on every detail, you can believe in luck, but never rely on it." Eva Moral has always been very sporty and she has practiced ballet and then athletics since she was small, until she started triathlon. She studied Law and has always combined her work with sports. An accident while cycle-touring caused her to lose mobility in her lower body. After a six-month hospitalisation, she came into contact with people practicing paratriathlon and made the switch to professional sport. She is now European paratriathlon champion and second in the world ranking, as well as duathlon world champion. She is grateful for Iberdrola's support since, she says, without it it would not be possible to practice a discipline that requires a lot of financial support External link, opens in new window..
DESIRÉE VILA, ADAPTED ATHLETICS
The fire that makes you fly
"When everything is filled with darkness and you lose everything that sustains you, the fire that fuels us will drive you on." Desirée Vila started acrobatic gymnastics at a very young age and she became Spanish champion in 2014. A year later, she suffered a fractured tibia and fibula which, due to medical negligence, resulted in the amputation of one of her legs. After her recovery, Desirée decided to return to sport and in 2018 she became Spanish champion in the 100m and long jump, in which she holds the national record. Vila, who will represent Spain in Tokyo, is grateful for the support of companies such as Iberdrola External link, opens in new window., for "the push that encourages you to keep working."
SUSANA RODRÍGUEZ, TRIATHLON
A tie that breaks all barriers
"Without sight, we need a guide. We also need someone to push us on, to support us when we fall. The two are joined together by two ties: one real, binding together their bodies; the other invisible, binding their dreams." Susana Rodríguez was born with albinism, a genetic condition that has caused severe visual impairment leaving her with 5 % visual acuity. She began with swimming, moved on to athletics and, after trying duathlon, discovered what is now her passion, triathlon, a sport that she combines with training to be a doctor. She is a triple world champion and will represent Spain at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Rodríguez expresses her gratitude to the brands, like Iberdrola, that support and accompany her on her journey External link, opens in new window..
ADOLFO BELLIDO AND NOEL MARTÍN, CYCLING
A story about how effort can be shared and distances divided
"Being visually impaired from an early age can make things seem like an uphill struggle. But I decided to pedal." Adolfo Bellido has a condition called Stargardt disease, which degenerates the eyesight. But that hasn't stopped him. He started taking part in paralympic athletics at the age of 14 and, after becoming the Spanish shot put and discus throw champion, he switched to adapted cycling. He and tandem partner Noel Martín, who he teamed up with in 2017, won the gold in the World Championship in 2019 and the bronze in 2018. They will be representing Spain in Tokyo in 2021. They say it is a "privilege and honour" that big brands like Iberdrola support adapted sport External link, opens in new window., where athletes find it particularly hard to secure sponsors and resources.
TONI PONCE, SWIMMING
"When you challenge yourself, there is always a winner"
"We are all born with an alloted time given to us. What we do with that time is up to us." Toni Ponce has degenerative bilateral spastic paraplegia, a disease which affects his entire body and particularly his legs. Tough training has speeded up the degeneration process, but even that won't stop Toni from continuing to fight on. Specialising in freestyle, he has won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in world and European championships and he will be one of the athletes to represent Spain at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2021. Ponce talks about Iberdrola's work promoting equality and sport External link, opens in new window..
SARA REVUELTA, CHAIR BASKETBALL
"Chase your dreams, but conquer your space"
"Every day, I tell myself: Sara, there's a place for you out there. Earn it with the same determination with which you earned your place here." Sara Revuelta overcame leukaemia when she was five years old, which left her paralysed in the lower part of her body. Since that time, she has won two European championships, four Ligas and six King's Cups in chair basketball. Born in Madrid, she plays for the Ilunion team and will captain the Spanish national team at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2021. She is studying Physics and dreams of working at NASA some day. Through the Invincibles campaign, Revuelta would like to thank Iberdrola for supporting adapted sport External link, opens in new window., which is essential to raise its visibility.
WE DRIVE EQUALITY THROUGH SPORT
Iberdrola looks upon sport as the perfect vehicle for progressing toward equality. The group is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive environment where everyone feels represented, for which it carries out different activities and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.
Through sport, Iberdrola supports the inclusion of people with disability and encourages equality and the empowerment of women, promoting talent, real equality and social development. As well as collaborating with the ADOP Plan, the company is the main driving force behind women's sport in Spain, through its sponsorship of the Women's Universe programme from the CSD. It also has an International corporate volunteering programme through which it carries out social projects aimed at integrating vulnerable groups.