Damian Alfonso wins bicycle races without forearms

Here is a story that is inspirational and upsetting about a Cuban cyclist, Damian Lopez Alfonso, who lost his forearms 20 years ago, when he was 13, in a horrible electrical accident. Shortly afterward, needing a bike to get around, he started racing…superfast.

Everybody knows Damian,” said Jesus Perara. “He rides the bike so fast, with no hands, it’s unbelievable.”

Indeed, nearly everyone who rides with Mr. Alfonso has been impressed by his endurance and bike handling.

“If he had never had this problem, I don’t know if he would have excelled at this sport, whether he would have had that tenacity,” said Mr. Perara’s wife, Nanci Modica, who first met Mr. Alfonso in 2002 while racing in Havana and is among his biggest supporters in New York. “He’s got something special that he can just dig right through the pain.”

In the video on the site, Damian says, “I am not afraid of anything. I have never been afraid of anything…Now the future is the (para)Olympics…The expectation is winning medals. Winning means always going forward…Life for me is a race. Every day that goes by is a day lost. That day never comes back. That helps you go through life, yes.”

This is another story of a human who has overcome the odds, the handicaps, his enormous struggles to achieve something you could never imagine. If he can do that, surely we ordinary mortals can reach our little victories by overcoming insignificant hurdles…right?

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