A blind surfer, awarded with the ‘Asturiana de braveza’: “I feel valued in my land”



carmen lopez (Oviedo, 1997) had never considered that she could “contribute something to Asturias”. For the blind surfer, it was a surprise that the Yumper association, from La Fresneda, called her and recognized her as “Asturiana de braveza” of the year 2021. “That makes me feel valued by the people of my land, it makes me proud,” she says. . You can’t say you’ve always felt the same. When he was still in high school, due to his blindness, he suffered “bullying”. “I always understood that people saw me differently. But it hurts when your own classmates, and even some teacher, put up barriers and make your life miserable”, he says by phone, because his left eye has given him problems this year and he cannot leave the house.

When Carmen López was very young, she had congenital glaucoma and that was the cause of her blindness: “For me it is something natural. I have always had friends who are differently abled, who use a wheelchair or have Down’s Syndrome, And it seems normal to me.” Nor was it ever an obstacle to make his life. “I am a cheerful and dynamic person and I am always looking for things to do. I like listening to music, reading, spending time with my animals and my family. The fact of going to championships or winning world championships does not change me”, he indicates.

carmen lopez (Oviedo, 1997) had never considered that she could “contribute something to Asturias”. For the blind surfer, it was a surprise that the Yumper association, from La Fresneda, called her and recognized her as “Asturiana de braveza” of the year 2021. “That makes me feel valued by the people of my land, it makes me proud,” she says. . You can’t say you’ve always felt the same. When he was still in high school, due to his blindness, he suffered “bullying”. “I always understood that people saw me differently. But it hurts when your own classmates, and even some teacher, put up barriers and make your life miserable.” account by phone, because his left eye has given him problems this year and he cannot leave the house.

When Carmen López was very young, she had congenital glaucoma and that was the cause of her blindness: “For me it is something natural. I have always had friends who are differently abled, who use a wheelchair or have Down syndrome, and it seems normal to me.” Nor was it ever an obstacle to make his life. “I am a cheerful and dynamic person and I am always looking for things to do. I like listening to music, reading, spending time with my animals and my family. The fact of going to championships or winning world championships does not change me, ”he indicates.

Although Carmen López affirms that she has no grudge, there was a stage in her life that was not good. It coincided, in the first year of Baccalaureate, that in his high school class they “bullied” him. “It was in the most original ways possible,” he now tells ironically. “They called me a ‘blind whore’ or told me that I couldn’t do certain things because I couldn’t see. They threw things at me. I considered giving it all up. You are 16 years old and you say: everything is over, I can’t take it anymore. I was looking for ways to escape and not be affected by things. Now I think about it and say: I learned that I didn’t want to be like them and to handle the situation. But words do more damage than you think,” he reflects.

He was saved, among many other things, by going to the psychologist. “Mental health is very important to be physically well. Now with the pandemic it has been seen, you have to know how to ask for help. I think that time puts everyone in their place and I’m in a good moment right now”, he concludes.

The following year, in the second year, he realized that the Baccalaureate did not fulfill him, but that he wanted to help people and he got into studying social integration. There he had already returned to surfing, had a coach and combined studying with his training. “Sport requires attendance and going to class as well. It didn’t matter if I presented supporting documents, they wouldn’t accept them”, he explains. Nor when she was admitted, does she count. So, she decided to put her health first and quit.

In those last moments of his studies, he met Juan Luis Pellitero, which gave him the opportunity to meet assistance dogs and work with them. From that circumstance, he began to study the following year to instruct this type of animal.

She was the one in charge of educating “Luna”, officially approved and accompanying her since she was fifteen years old. And, meanwhile, in 2020 he won the Adapted Surfing World Championship in California, caught the coronavirus on his return and in 2021 he repeated the competition again, achieving silver.

But, since then, she hasn’t been able to catch any waves: “I spend three days in the gym and one horseback riding, but because of the weather where we live, it’s complex,” explains the young woman.

In addition, he has undergone an operation and after it and being hospitalized, his year has been hard. “I don’t have nerves, what I have is wins,” he says. You want to be able to be one hundred percent and keep trying new things.

“What I now want to do is ballroom dancing,” says Carmen López. And, probably, so it is, because she is one of the people of said and done. One more barrier and prejudice dismantled in his life.

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