15 Sep “The competition of life”, with Eva Moral and Birgit Skarstein
The 2020 Paralympic Games, the competition of life, which took place a year later than planned in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, have recently ended. Many emotions experienced in those last days, which have inspired hope in all athletes eager to be the next protagonists of the Olympic or Paralympic Games. This year, ABLE wants to recognize the extraordinary success of two close collaborators of our company, Eva Moral and Birgit Skarstein. Their stories of achievement make us proud and give us the necessary courage to continue improving technology to help women like Eva and Birgit achieve their dreams.
Eva Moral, 39 years old, Madrid lawyer. Before the accident, her life revolved around her work as a lawyer and her great passion, triathlon. Competitions and training were the fuel to her life; and her colleagues from the Valdemoro Triathlon Club, the engine of her inexhaustible energy. Eva expresses in several interviews all the learnings of practising triathlon, “a competition with myself in all aspects of life”, she commented on her website. A passion that on September 29, 2013, changed her life, in every way. She was getting ready to enjoy a beautiful morning in the mountains of Madrid participating in a cycling route when it began to rain just as she was on the way down, with the misfortune that she collided with a guardrail and fell precipitously down a seven-meter ravine.
Thanks to the unconditional support of her family, friends and the Hospital Doce de Octubre and the Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos de Toledo, Eva has been able to resume her passion, and after much effort, invisible to many, she has returned to the swimming pool and to pedalling a bicycle to full speed.
This passion allowed her to fulfil her great dream of participating in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and if that were not enough, she has been awarded the bronze medal in the triathlon event held in the Marine Park of the Bay of Odaiba from Tokyo (Japan). After being the first athlete in a wheelchair to complete 42 km in the New York City Marathon, her progression has been spectacular. Eva mentions in several interviews that she will never forget the morning she was training when she was informed that her category in triathlon, PTWC, was now becoming part of the 2020 official program of the Paralympic Games.
“I am very proud and very happy. A lot has happened to me during the race. When I was swimming I was not able to see the buoy back but I started in the position I wanted and that I could start”, said Eva Moral when arriving, entering the finish line just 8:34 minutes from the winner, the Australian Lauren Parker.
Eva Moral dedicates her victory to all the people who are having a hard time and she expresses her gratitude to all those who have given her unconditional support in those tough recent years, especially her partner and her handler, Ángel Salamanca.
Birgit Skarstein, 32, political scientist, athlete and Oslense. Norway has been her preparation ground for her grand debut at these Paralympic Games in Tokyo. ABLE had the pleasure of meeting her thanks to the Toyota Startup Accelerator Program, in which she was awarded among the 5 chosen startups Birgit’s problems began in 2008 when she injured her left leg while jumping into a Malaysian lake. From there, she had a cluster of nonsense and a large number of operations. In the last of 16 operations that Birgit underwent over the following year, she received an epidural injection in her back that was incorrectly administered and accidentally injured her spinal cord and paralyzed her from the waist down.
The way Birgit dealt with her paralysis is a life lesson for all of us. She is an example of determination, strength and persistence from day to day, always keeping a smile on her face.
Birgit spends 18 to 30 hours training each week, and with her impressive track record, it’s hard to believe that she started rowing just four years ago, in 2012. Obstacles didn’t stop her from training to fulfil her wish: to win the gold medal at the Games, a dream that he was able to fulfil this year in 2021 at the Tokyo Paralympics. Congratulations Birgit!
Now Skarstein has his sights set on the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, determined to inspire more people with disabilities to be active and find a solution in the sport that makes them “feel that they are all part of the same team” and “all good emotions” as respect and equality.
These two inspiring stories bring great pride to the ABLE team, who has worked with these powerful women, are delighted to see these victories; not only because of the achievements that those represent in her personal life but also because of the hope of many other Paralympic athletes who continue to fight day after day to achieve their dream.