Persistence rewarded! Aussie Madison De Rozario won gold in the 800m wheelchair event having previously won 4 silver medals. As a four year old, Rozario contracted transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder which causes inflammation of the spinal cord.
She broke her silver medal streak with the help and mentoring of Australian wheelchair racing legend and coach Louise Sauvage:
“Thankfully, my coach knows how to put a race together. She has done it for herself and for me. It was perfect, played to my strengths, and I’m really happy.”
“There is so much trust. That relationship is probably the strongest I have in my life,” de Rozario said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“She pushes me to be the best version of myself. She definitely sees my potential before I see it, and knew I could do this before I believed it.”
She had some powerful words addressing the stubborn perceptions that plague the wider disability community telling Channel 7 after the race:
“No one should have to justify the space that they take up & people with disabilities shouldn’t have to be exceptional in order to be accepted.”
Well done Madison – a great reward for your persistence!
Image source: Paralympics Tokyo 2020