Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos

Friday, July 19, 2013

Laura Hale interviews David Casinos for Wikinews
David Casinos at the airport in Madrid before departing for France
Image: Laura Hale.

With the IPC Athletics World Championships scheduled to start Friday (today), Wikinews interviewed Spanish athlete David Casinos at Madrid–Barajas Airport Monday before he departed for Lyon, France.

((Wikinews)) Hello I'm interviewing David Casinos, Spain's most famous track and field athlete in Paralympic sport, for Wikinews. So you're competing at the IPC World Championships are going to win a whole lot of medals? Which medals are you going to win?

David Casinos :Well, I'd like above all to perform well, because it would mean I'd be closer to the medals. I'm humble in that sense. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Bueno, me gustaría sobre todo, primero hacerlo bien, eso significaría que voy a acercarme a esas medallas. Soy muy humilde en ese aspecto.

((WN)) As somebody who's been competing a long time in track and field, how has stuff changed form when you first started out to now?

David Casinos: The biggest change I've seen has been with regards to media, communication, but above all the Plan ADO Paralympic. The professionalization of Plan ADO, becoming professional sportspeople. Spanish Paralympic sports is now more known to the media and in the world. ((es))Spanish language: ‍El mayor cambio que he vivido yo ha sido la comunicación, pero sobre todo el Plan ADO Paralímpico. Profesionalizar el Plan ADO. Ser deportistas profesionales. El deporte paralímpico español es más conocido ahora por los medios de comunicación y en el mundo entero.

((WN)) Have there been more opportunities for sponsorship as your Paralympics profile has grown?

David Casinos: Yes!

((WN)) Would you like to promote a few of them?

David Casinos: I've got several sponsors, one of them is Toro Loco, an energy drink, there's also Diputación de Valencia, Fundación Trinidad Alfonso, from Juan Roig, Mercadona, Moncada which is my townhall, Valencia Terra i Mar... I may be forgetting one of them now. I've got several. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Tengo bastantes patrocinadores, uno de ellos es Toro Loco, una bebida energética, Diputación de Valencia, Fundación Trinidad Alfonso, que es de Juan Roig, Mercadona, Moncada, mi ayuntamiento, Valencia Terra i Mar... Igual me olvido de alguno ahora. Tengo varios.

((WN)) In London one of the Australians said that it was time for athletics in the Paralympics to be able to become more professional and get shoe sponsorship. Do you know if any of the Spanish ones are covering shoe logos if they don't have sponsorship? [Editor's note: here the translator asked a different question in Spanish, about whether shoe brands were helping athletes.] ((es))Spanish language: ‍Resulta que los australianos han hecho que los patrocinadores patrocinen sus zapatos. ¿Esto pasa en los atletas españoles también?

David Casinos: No. This does not happen. ((es))Spanish language: ‍No. No sucede.

((WN)) Is this going to be an issue? I mean is Spain at the level where it can become an issue?

David Casinos: I for example have a big sponsor, Italian Macron Sports, which also sponsors the Italian and Spanish Leagues of soccer. So I don't have that problem. I feel very supported. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Yo por ejemplo tengo un patrocinador muy grande, se llama Macrón Sports, italiano, y es patrocinador de la liga italiana, la española, de fútbol, y yo tengo su patrocinador. Yo no tengo ese problema. Me siento muy arropado.

((WN)) Okay. So, you're a visual-impaired athlete, and do you run with a guide?

David Casinos: I don't run with one, but I do need a guide to do series, jump, to do everything I need to do in training to throw very far. ((es))Spanish language: ‍No corro con un guía, pero sí necesito a ese guía para hacer series, saltar, hacer todo lo que tengo que hacer, para lanzar lejos.

((WN)) How helpful are guides in terms of how much they potentially impact outcomes, do you think?

David Casinos: For me the guide is a basic component of my daily work. When competing, they simply help you to get in and out of the field, and you do the rest, but in a daily basis what I call the backstage, the guide helps you with the weights, jumps, positions. There's more work even, behind the competition scenes. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Para mi el guía es una pieza fundamental en mi día a día. En la competición simplemente te ayudan a entrar y salir del círculo, lo demás lo haces tú, pero en el día a día, en el backstage que le digo yo, es el que te ayuda con las pesas, a saltar, acolocarte en el foso, hay más trabajo incluso, detrás de la competición.

((WN)) Spain has a long history of blind sports, compared to other countries. Do you have an explanation as to why there are so many blind athletes?

David Casinos: Well, above all we have ONCE, the organization greatly responsible for disabled people having available a series of options, including sports. And in that respect ONCE has been very pioneering. Absolutely pioneering. And that's good. What's happening now is that other countries are discovering their Paralympians. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Bueno, en primer lugar tenemos la organización ONCE, que es la gran precursora de que las personas con discapacidad tengamos una serie de opciones, entre ellas el deporte. Y en ese aspecto ha sido la ONCE muy pionera. Pioneros absolutos. Y eso es bueno. Lo que pasa es que ahora otros países están descubriendo sus paralímpicos.

((WN)) Is there anything you think an international audience should know about you or the Paralympic movement in Spain?

David Casinos: I'm just another sportsperson who fights for his dream, which is sports, to surpass myself, day after day, after having a great challenge which was losing my sight. And that is the message I like to transmit to people through coaching. ((es))Spanish language: ‍Soy un deportista más, que lucha por mi sueño, que es el deporte, superarme, día a día, después de una gran dificultad que ha sido perder la visión. Y este mensaje es el que me gusta transmitir a muchas personas mediante el coaching.

((WN)) Okay. ¡Muchas gracias!

David Casinos: Okay!


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.