Having competed at Julyâ€™s Pan Am Games, Argentinian cyclist Mariela Delgado is gearing up for her second Toronto 2015 appearance, this time in the Parapan American Games.
In July, Delgado finished in 13th place in the womenâ€™s individual time trial and was 22nd after the road race during the Pan Ams. On Saturday (8 August) morning she will become the first Argentinian athlete to appear in both Games.
On the first day of competition at the Parapan American Games, the 29-year-old will line-up in the womenâ€™s road race C1-5 and later on in the week will compete in track cycling and the road time trial event.
She says she is ready for the challenge ahead.
â€œWhat I first wondered was if I was going to be prepared to face these two huge events. I asked MartÃn Ferrari, my coach, and he answered that this was a unique opportunity and that I should take it,â€ Delgado said.
â€œI have never imagined I would achieve something like this, but it makes me happy, even though I also feel a little bit observed, and I am not used to feeling that,â€ she assured.
â€œI really hope I can climb onto a podium at the Parapan Am. The Pan Ams were a great opportunity to get ready, both physically and mentally, for this event. I am confident and relaxed.â€
Delgado is a native of the city of Posadas, Misiones Province, Argentina. She used to travel by bike around the city, but it was not until she turned 21 that she decided to start competing. She has already won four Argentinian Championships
â€œI also practised volleyball, artistic gymnastics and swimming, but I finally chose cycling,â€ she said.
In spite of the fact that she graduated from University as a bachelor in tourism, she devotes her life to training.
â€œI practise almost every day, and there are weeks in which I do not have time to rest,â€ she assures.
â€œI always try to do my best and I follow my instincts. I still do not know where they will take me, maybe to a Paralympic Game. But I truly believe that the main challenge is to surpass oneself.â€