LOIDA ZABALA, PARALYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTER

"I know that I have no limits, that I can easily overcome anything that happens to me"

She wanted to strengthen her arms after ending in a wheelchair at 11 as a result of spinal inflammation, and she ended up in weightlifting. Not content with being 14-time Spanish parapowerlifting champion and with her three Olympic diplomas from the three Games she has participated in, she decided to compete with people "without disabilities" and, in 2016, she won the European Cup. This cheerful young woman from Cáceres is currently studying Interpretation and would like to become a powerlifting coach.

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Loida Zabala, Paralympic weightlifter: One month before I was to go to the 2012 London Paralympic Games, my ex-partner mistreated me, injuring my right arm and my dream was looking lost: I couldn't stretch my arm and, obviously, couldn't lift weights. After two weeks, luckily, I was able to get it back, I started training again and I was able to travel to London and get the place I wanted."

"For me, it was proof that any project you have in mind, however difficult things may seem, in the end anything can be achieved if you focus on what you want to get."

Iván Alonso, Loida's sports psychologist: “Loida is a person with an incredible attitude towards everything, not only sport, but also life. She is always happy, always with a smile, always wanting to fight."

Óscar Sánchez, Loida's trainer: “She is a very, very strong person, she has had circumstances in her life in which, despite everything, she has found joy, she has had that ability to move forward, to keep fighting. She knows how to move forward, to fight for what she wants and go for it."

Loida Zabala: “At 11 I had a spinal inflammation and I spent several months in bed on morphine, in a lot of pain... And when I left there, they sat me in my first wheelchair and for me it changed my life, without a doubt, but for the better, because I learned what the word freedom really means."

“If at 11 someone told me that my life would be as incredible as it is today, I wouldn't have believed it. I definitely wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world, because thanks to everything that has happened to me in life I've evolved."

“I wouldn't change all the experiences I have been through, for anything. What I wish I'd done in the past and what I'd change would be to tell my mother that my life was going to be wonderful, so she wouldn't feel bad seeing me in that bed."

“I know that I have no limits, that I can easily overcome anything that happens to me."

“When they talk about disability, for me it's something that doesn't exist. In 2016, after my third Games, I wanted to try to compete against people “without disabilities". In the end I did it with a fever of 39 — my defences dropped a lot and as soon and I got dizzy as I got up — but I went there and won the European Cup. For me it was proof that disability doesn't exist and that we can all compete under the same rules and under the same circumstances."

“I'm one of those people who, if I like something, I go for it. Last year I started making my third documentary and I realised that there was much more to learn. So I said why not train as an actress and why not achieve that dream that at some point popped into your head."