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31138-Lourdes Alejandra Aybar Diaz photo

Lourdes Alejandra Aybar Diaz

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S8, SB6, SM8

Further personal information

Residence
Santo Domingo, DOM
Occupation
Athlete, Engineer
Languages
English, Spanish
Higher education
Industrial Engineering - Santo Domingo Institute of Technology [INTEC]: Dominican Republic

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport at the Juan Pablo Duarte Aquatics Centre in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, after sustaining irreparable damage to her right knee due to a fall in 2015.
Why this sport?
The sport helps strengthen her body without causing any impact to her bones. "It was incredible. I didn't know how to swim, but I enjoyed the feeling of the water and I could move my legs. I felt alive in the water."
Club / Team
Delfines del Naco Masters: Santo Domingo, DOM
Name of coach
Galvez Capriles [personal], DOM, from 2018

International debut

Year
2017
Competing for
Dominican Republic
Location
Indianapolis, IN, USA

General interest

Hobbies
Reading, spending time with family, going to the beach. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the SB6 100m breaststroke event at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
Coaches Galvez Capriles and Ana Maria Peralta. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019; paralympic.org, 12 Mar 2021)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Katie Ledecky, Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Injuries
In 2014 she sustained a knee injury, which ultimately led to her taking up Para swimming. (santodomingocorre.com, 09 Apr 2020)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"It is better to fail in the attempt, than to die with doubt." (santodomingocorre.com, 09 Apr 2020)
Milestones
She became the first swimmer representing the Dominican Republic to win a medal at the Parapan American Games, when she claimed silver in the women's SB6 100m breaststroke at the 2019 Games in Lima, Peru. (paralympic.org, 12 Mar 2021)

At the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, she became the first Para swimmer representing the Dominican Republic to compete in a world championship final. (paralympic.org, 03 Jul 2019; SportsDeskOnline, 13 May 2020)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 12 Mar 2021)
Impairment
She has osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition characterised by fragile bones that break easily. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Other information
EARLY DAYS
She says she often did not feel like she fitted in during her youth, but that she has since come to accept her impairment and individuality. "Growing up in a small neighbourhood was hard because I was different. Everybody stared and whispered in front of me. I felt terrible. I only had one friend. Despite this, I faced physical challenges with courage, but I felt empty inside, as if something were missing. There were many moments that I tried to fit in with the patterns of 'normality' that people are used to but in the end I understood that there is nothing wrong with me and that I do not need to look like anyone or be 'normal'. All my experiences have been building my character and have turned me into the human being that I am today and I am grateful for it. Swimming has made me feel empowered and has helped me to love myself. I now love every part of my body and wearing swimsuits. I feel beautiful. I also have friends who love me just as I am." (santodomingocorre.com, 09 Apr 2020; paralympics.org, 12 Mar 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has done speaking engagements, including a graduation speech at Santo Domingo Institute of Technology in 2020, and has been invited to give a TEDx talk. (paralympics.org, 12 Mar 2021)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2017-12-02 8
Women's 100 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2017-12-02 8
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2017-12-04 9
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 1 2017-12-05 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final 1 2017-12-05 6
Women's 400 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2017-12-06 5