Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos

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Friday, July 19, 2013

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Laura Hale interviews David Casinos for Wikinews

David Casinos at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start Friday (today), Wikinews interviewed Spanish athlete David Casinos at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Hello I’m interviewing David Casinos, Spain’s most famous track and field athlete in Paralympic sport, for Wikinews. So you’re competing at the IPC World Championships are going to win a whole lot of medals? Which medals are you going to win?

David Casinos :Well, I’d like above all to perform well, because it would mean I’d be closer to the medals. I’m humble in that sense.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png As somebody who’s been competing a long time in track and field, how has stuff changed form when you first started out to now?

David Casinos: The biggest change I’ve seen has been with regards to media, communication, but above all the Plan ADO Paralympic. The professionalization of Plan ADO, becoming professional sportspeople. Spanish Paralympic sports is now more known to the media and in the world.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have there been more opportunities for sponsorship as your Paralympics profile has grown?

David Casinos: Yes!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Would you like to promote a few of them?

David Casinos: I’ve got several sponsors, one of them is Toro Loco, an energy drink, there’s also Diputación de Valencia, Fundación Trinidad Alfonso, from Juan Roig, Mercadona, Moncada which is my townhall, Valencia Terra i Mar… I may be forgetting one of them now. I’ve got several.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png In London one of the Australians said that it was time for athletics in the Paralympics to be able to become more professional and get shoe sponsorship. Do you know if any of the Spanish ones are covering shoe logos if they don’t have sponsorship? [Editor’s note: here the translator asked a different question in Spanish, about whether shoe brands were helping athletes.]((es))

David Casinos: No. This does not happen.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is this going to be an issue? I mean is Spain at the level where it can become an issue?

David Casinos: I for example have a big sponsor, Italian Macron Sports, which also sponsors the Italian and Spanish Leagues of soccer. So I don’t have that problem. I feel very supported.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. So, you’re a visual-impaired athlete, and do you run with a guide?

David Casinos: I don’t run with one, but I do need a guide to do series, jump, to do everything I need to do in training to throw very far.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How helpful are guides in terms of how much they potentially impact outcomes, do you think?

David Casinos: For me the guide is a basic component of my daily work. When competing, they simply help you to get in and out of the field, and you do the rest, but in a daily basis what I call the backstage, the guide helps you with the weights, jumps, positions. There’s more work even, behind the competition scenes.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Spain has a long history of blind sports, compared to other countries. Do you have an explanation as to why there are so many blind athletes?

David Casinos: Well, above all we have ONCE, the organization greatly responsible for disabled people having available a series of options, including sports. And in that respect ONCE has been very pioneering. Absolutely pioneering. And that’s good. What’s happening now is that other countries are discovering their Paralympians.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there anything you think an international audience should know about you or the Paralympic movement in Spain?

David Casinos: I’m just another sportsperson who fights for his dream, which is sports, to surpass myself, day after day, after having a great challenge which was losing my sight. And that is the message I like to transmit to people through coaching.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay. ¡Muchas gracias!

David Casinos: Okay!


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.