The Leonese international jumper recovers "the illusion" after a year of crossing, in which he has recovered "physically and mentally" to focus again on the high jump
«It is a pride to see what is happening in the pool in Castilla y León. I think all athletes have to be excited »
Daniel Pérez (León, 1995) is one of the standard-bearers of Paralympic sport in Castilla y León. Veteran, despite not having reached thirty, the international jumper of the Federation of Adapted Sports of Castilla y León (Fedeacyl) has recovered "physically and mentally" after the suspension of the Paralympic Athletics World Cup. The 2023 and the 2024 Paralympic Games focus on his sporting goals without forgetting his preparation to be a teacher with oppositions in mind.
1. It has been more than a month and a half since the season closed. What would you highlight from last season or what moment would you stay with after the World Cup fiasco?
– What I would highlight the most was how I managed to overcome the suspension of the World Cup. They brought me together with problems of a personal nature, and it was a tough time. Even so, I was able to fly over it and, despite being a period without too much competitive load and training, the marks that came out were quite decent, especially in the high jump, with marks of 1.80 meters... And that without being fine like other times! It makes me be optimistic, and think that if we fine-tune, interesting brands can come out.
2. Where are you at both a sporting and a personal level?
– I have lived through a period of uncertainty, with changes on a personal level, but now I am quite well and I cannot complain. I have been able to recover the illusion, and this is motivated for an interesting year. We started preparing for the World Cup in Paris this year, and the Games are already there too. In addition, I am with the oppositions of teacher for Secondary… I hope that the two things turn out well.
3. What are your short and medium term goals?
– The most immediate, the World Cup in Paris. That is going to be key, and then there will be the two Spanish Championships, especially focused on the summer one. To complete the year I hope I can be in a Meeting or a Grand Prix.
4. In the background, the Paralympic Games in Paris appear… After being left with honey on the lips in Rio and Tokyo… What do you think it takes to achieve your dream of being a Paralympic?
– I think that in Rio the minimum and the possibility of going was more unreal. She caught me off guard. It was not the objective, nor was there a previous progression. In Tokyo, the situation was already different, and there was already a job, a career... We are proud of the work done, with the brand, the evolution of the technique, the efficiency... Progress may be slow, but it is constant. Hopefully the next few months and the push they bring will be enough to be in Paris in 2024.
5. Will the high jump be the specialty in which you will try again or after the pleasant surprise of the long jump in the European will you reconsider?
– The height without a doubt. In length I have much less options. It will be the height in which we focus, and we will compete in the longi for love of art... If there are surprises later like in the European Championship, then they are welcome.
6. What moment do you think Paralympic athletics is going through?
– It has evolved a lot, and the repercussion it has has also grown, but even so we are still a bit forgotten. With a little more help, the results would be greatly enhanced, in fact, it is already happening in other sports. There are very few athletes who can focus only on training, and with work, it is always more difficult. You are always more limited.
7. How do you see the swimming boom in Castilla y León and its possible impact on other sports?
– It is a great joy, and for me, a source of pride. They are working very well, and seeing athletes like Luis or Marta there -by Luis Huerta and Marta Fernández-, is an incentive, because I have seen them grow. Hopefully what happens in swimming also happens in athletics, and all those young people who are starting to enjoy it like them. We lack a bit of pull, although it is true that, for example, in the last Spanish Promesa Championship, we already had a good team. Let's see if they take that little step forward and we don't see them with the older ones at all. I will do everything I can to help and do my bit, I will be delighted.