«The only disability is a bad attitude». With this appointment of the American Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper can be defined Simon Cruz, badminton player and one of the winners of the scholarships that the SIFU Foundation grants each year to disabled athletes.
Simon lost his leg at age 19 because of an accident at work. The Andalusian far from surrendering began to overcome obstacles and today is a reference in the world of the racket: «This sport changed my life and it was by chance». Coincidence because at first he started swimming until one day he got to know badminton and fell in love with this discipline.
Seven medals in European championships and one in a world championship are the winners of this Jiennense who now faces one of the biggest challenges of his sporting career: to be ranked among the seven best in the world to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. "Since 2007 I've been waiting for this opportunity," he says. And in Tokyo for the first time badminton will be included as a Paralympic sport. Something that, in the opinion of Simon, has taken a long time to occur: "It's a shame because before I could not enjoy a Paralympic Games. However, the rules do not put me and will have to put up with the ones that are ».
His first World Cup, played in Bangkok, coincided with the first time he left Spain and that is something that completely changed his way of thinking: "That World Cup made me see that you had to train very hard and put in many more hours of training. I did not win any matches, but that helped me to make a big change in my life ».
With the exception of Sundays, Simon spends four hours a day exercising. The surprising thing about this is not the time he dedicates to him, but he does it with athletes without disabilities: «From swimming I thought that the best thing was to prepare myself with people without disabilities because they are much more mobile than you. At first it costs, but with my work and effort I earned it. Now I am one of them ».