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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
Man without legs sitting poolside

Gustavo Sanchez Martinez

Swimming
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Seventies rock fan Gustavo Sanchez was the top performing Mexican male Para swimmer at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships, winning five out of the six medals his country’s men secured in Montreal, Canada.

With a raft of Americas records to his name, he is also one of the most prolific Para swimmers in the region.

Born with a congenital limb deficiency, Sanchez began Para swimming at the age of seven.

His first World Championships were in the same year as his international debut (2010) where he quickly made his mark with three bronze medals in freestyle S4 events.

From there Sanchez progressed, winning four medals – two gold – at his home 2011 Para Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

By the time London 2012 came around, the then 18-year-old was ready for the biggest competition of his life and delivered two golds, one silver and one bronze in front of thousands at the Aquatics Centre.

A 200m freestyle specialist, Sanchez was again the best performer in his team and as a result was awarded the 2012 National Sport Award in the Paralympic athlete category by the Mexican Olympic Committee.

He enjoys sushi, science fiction and video games and believes that “everything you want, you will get if you want it hard enough.”

In his classification he faces a tough challenge from Slovenia’s Darko Duric who, in Montreal, beat him to the 50m butterfly S4 and 100m freestyle S4 world titles.

In 2015, once again at the Worlds, the field had got even deeper. South Korea's Giseong Jo burst onto the scene to win two titles, including the 200m freestyle.

But Sanchez proved his podium potential once again, claiming bronze in his favourite 200m freestyle. In 2017, he will have the chance to go for medals in his home country when the World Para Swimming Championships roll into Mexico City from 30 September. Sanchez will be looking to give Mexico something to cheer about as one of his country's brightest hopes.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S4, SB3, SM4

Further personal information

Residence
Mexico City, MEX
Occupation
Motivational Speaker, Student
Languages
Spanish, English
Higher education
Business Administration - Anahuac University: Mexico City, MEX

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age seven at the National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM] swimming pool in Mexico City, Mexico.
Club / Team
Mexico State [MEX] / National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM] [MEX]:

International debut

Year
2010
Competing for
Mexico
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Eindhoven, NED

General interest

Nicknames
Gus (deportes.unam.mx, 26 Oct 2011)
Hobbies
Playing video games, music. (Facebook page, 24 Feb 2020)
Most influential person in career
His family. (Athlete, 25 Oct 2011)
Hero / Idol
Mexican Para swimmer Juan Ignacio Reyes, US swimmer Michael Phelps, Mexican boxer Saul Alvarez. (maspormas.com, 16 Apr 2019)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
Before a competition he listens to music and visualises his race. (maspormas.com, 16 Apr 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"You will get everything you want if you want it enough." (Athlete, 26 Aug 2012)
Awards and honours
He was presented with the 2012 National Sport Award by the Mexican National Paralympic Committee. (paralympic.org, 07 Dec 2012)

In 2009 he received the Luchador Olmeca [Olmec Wrestler] Award from the Mexican Sports Confederation [CODEME]. (Facebook page, 28 Jun 2019; codeme.com.mx, 05 Nov 2015)
Impairment
He was born with malformations to both legs and his left arm. (excelsior.com.mx, 20 Oct 2015)
Other information
FILM
A documentary of his life was shown at the 2014 Monterrey International Film Festival in Mexico. Directed by Eduardo Lucatero, the film featured his training and family life in the lead-up the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. "I'm glad my life and sporting career has come to the movies because it shows people that everything I have achieved is the result of hard work. Achieving success requires dedication and commitment in what you do." (unam.mx, 30 Jul 2014)

BOOK
His mother, a university teacher, wrote a book about his life called 'To live without limits: the story of Gus'. (excelsior.com.mx, 20 Oct 2015)

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Swimming World Championships Eindhoven 2010 (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2
Men's 50 m Butterfly S4 Final Round 4
Men's 50 m Butterfly S4 Heat 1 2
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 1 5
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final Round 5
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 2 3
Men's 4x50 m Medley 20pts Final Round 7
Men's 4x50 m Medley 20pts Heat 2 4
Men's 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Final Round 8
Men's 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Heat 1 4
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 3
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Heat 1 4
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 3
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2012-08-31 1
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2012-08-31 5
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Heat 2 2012-09-02 2
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final Round 2012-09-02 2
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Final Round 2012-09-03 5
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 1 2012-09-03 4
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2012-09-05 1
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2012-09-05 1
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 1 2012-09-06 2
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final Round 2012-09-06 3
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2012-09-08 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2012-09-08 1
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2013-08-12 2
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2013-08-12 2
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final 1 2013-08-13 3
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 2 2013-08-13 2
Men's 50 m Butterfly S4 Final 1 2013-08-14 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2013-08-15 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2013-08-15 1
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2013-08-16 1
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final 1 2013-08-17 4
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Final 1 2013-08-18 9999
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 2 2013-08-18 8
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2015-07-13 3
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-13 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2015-07-14 4
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Heat 1 2015-07-15 7
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-15 5
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final 1 2015-07-15 8
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 2 2015-07-16 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2015-07-16 6
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 1 2015-07-17 9
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final 1 2015-07-19 4
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 1 2015-07-19 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2016-09-08 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-08 6
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Heat 1 2016-09-12 4
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final Round 2016-09-12 8
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-13 6
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Heat 1 2016-09-13 2
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 1 2016-09-14 9999
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final Round 2016-09-16 6
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 2 2016-09-16 4
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final Round 2016-09-17 6
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final 1 2017-12-03 3
Men's 50 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2017-12-05 2
Men's 200 m Freestyle S4 Final 1 2017-12-06 1
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final 1 2017-12-07 2