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Mercedes González Amade: I'm 38 years old and physically challenged. I struggle daily in this life be it on crutches or in a wheelchair. I have a 12-year-old son who is my main inspiration and for who I have fought tooth and nail. I hold a position in the governmental institution that serves the handicapped in my part of the capital. In the afternoons I practice tennis well away from where I live. My intention with Havana Times is to help spread the desire to live and to do so with dignity, especially to persons with physical and motor difficulties.

I Hope to Participate in the Pan Am Badminton Championship

October 25, 2016 |

Mercedes Gonzalez Amade

HAVANA TIMES — After so many months of training, the time has finally come for Cuban hopefuls, who want to participate in the Pan Am Badminton Championship, which will be held in Colombia, to meet in the province of Camaguey. That’s where the Cuban competitors who will represent our country in this sporting event next month in December will be decided. The last edition took place in Cuba and my experience was truly gratifying.

I was happy to have been selected again for the national event because of my performance. Nearly everyone is happy for me, however, as the date for my departure draws closer, negative energies are beginning to make their way towards me which, even though I don’t want them to, are affecting my mindset and my performance.

Those responsible for registering us for this event have told us that nobody can be 100% sure that they’re going until the last minute, as invitations are very expensive, so they’re only going to send those athletes who will bring home a medal no matter what.

I recently found out that I was the only candidate for this event that uses a wheelchair; that made me nervous, even though other handicapped players have been enrolled later on.  They also explained to me how much it costs to take these wheelchairs on an airplane so if there is a small budget for the trip, they’ll get rid of those who will make it even more expensive.

After finding out just how much it costs to maintain every athlete, I understand that they want to be sure that the players they send will be able to win medals. Now, the rounds for the 2020 Olympics are beginning and I hope that my country is well-represented in this sport.

I have to be in Camaguey for a month and a half, and God only knows the sacrifice I’m making to be away from my teenage son for so long, when his exams are coming soon; as well as other difficulties that aren’t worth mentioning, as I’m not receiving any financial aid during the time that I’m here, even though I am given accommodation, food and a place to train.

I leave for Camaguey with a heavy heart, however, I have faith that when this gathering ends, I will be one of the players selected to go and compete in Colombia and that all of my efforts won’t have been in vain.

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  • Ronin

    Mercedes,
    keep your chin up and get rid of those negative thoughts. I am praying for you and I am confident you will make the team and Cuba will be proud of you. Best wishes.