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Paralympic Cyclists Inspire Each Other, And A Documentary

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
June 25, 2012

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics are just over a month away — leading NPR and other media to cover the intense preparations for the games. That also means the Paralympic Games are on the way, as athletes with physical disabilities round into top form for the Aug. 29 opening day.

One of those athletes is Spain’s Juan Jose “Juanjo” Mendez, who trains at the Barclona Velodrome. He’s featured in the new documentary Unstoppables, about a team of track cyclists who train and compete together. Many are amputees — Mendez lost an arm and most of a leg in a motorcycle crash, for instance. A clip posted online tells more of their story (and includes a bit of mild profanity).

The documentary also focuses on Elisa Cazalla, Mendez’s teammate who had not ridden a bike after cancer caused one of her legs to be amputated.

In the film, Cazalla tells the story of seeing Mendez riding his bike through the city streets several years ago, stopping at traffic lights, all with one arm and one leg.

“If I ever complain again, remind me about this very moment,” she recalls saying at the time.

Unstoppables is currently being entered in film festivals. A special 8-minute version of the film’s trailer will be shown at this weekend’s Bicycle Film Festival.

h/t to Urban Velo. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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