I am not disabled, I just can´t walk
It was very impressive to see two para athletics athletes, Alexandra Helbling and her partner Fabian Blum live by their motto, ‘I am not disabled, I just can’t walk’ whilst they prepared for the 2019 season at the Tenerife Top Training facilities.
This season, the two Swiss athletes hope to qualify for the World Cup which is being held in Dubai, February 2019. Both have experience as athletes, but for Fabian, this will be his first big competition and he therefore is going into it with no particular position in mind, just to do his best. For Alexandra, having won a European title along with participating in the London 2012 Paralympic games, the goal is to place in the top 7 in order to receive a diploma. The future objective for both athletes however is to qualify and compete in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Besides their sports, the young couple live fairly normal lives both having regular jobs. Fabian was previously a qualified electrician, however has since moved to an office job due to the fact that he is now in a wheelchair, and Alexandra a qualified sports-merchant. The two also train at least once a day with their coaches, whether it be on the track or at the gym, in order to maintain their ability to compete at a high level.
In order to finance their travel, equipment and accommodation especially during the competition season, Fabian and Alexandra need sponsors which, they explained are hard to come across in a sport that is not among the most popular. The athletes also explained that in Switzerland Paralympic disciplines are rarely watched on television, and Alexandra especially expressed her disappointment about the lack of inclusion of both Paralympic athletes and disabled people in general. They are both working towards their sport becoming more popular in the future and getting more disabled people whether they have been prior athletes or not into sports.
At Tenerife Top Training Alex and Fabi were able to train in our outdoor- and indoor Gym. To practice racing techniques they preferred the Estadio Antonio Dominguez Alfonso, were we could drive them whenever they wanted to.
We wish Alexandra and Fabian the best in achieving their goals and hope to see them succeed in both the world cup and Paralympic games in the near future.« back to overview