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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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36213-Maria Kalimera photo

Maria Kalimera

Powerlifting

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Congenital

Further personal information

Languages
English, Greek

Sport specific information

Name of coach
Michalis Mavroudes [personal]

General interest

Most influential person in career
Her father, and coach Michalis Mavroudes. (offsite.com.cy, 13 Jun 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Everything is in your head. If you really want it, you can do it." (Heart Cyprus YouTube channel, 17 May 2017)
Impairment
She was born with an impairment to her lower limbs. "When I was born, the doctors told my parents that I was not going to walk and would depend on a wheelchair for the rest of my life. My parents then searched for a second opinion. I went through physiotherapy and they told me, 'If it's your will, you can walk'. I walked, and I've never given up on anything ever since." (offsite.com.cy, 13 Jun 2017)
Other information
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS
She has set several Guinness World Records. In September 2015 she set a record for the longest time in an abdominal plank position at three hours and 31 minutes. Another record saw her perform 35 handstand push-ups in 31 seconds, while a third record was established when she spent 23 minutes and 20 seconds in a plank position with a weight on her back. "The average person can withstand the plank position for two minutes, or a maximum of five. So, to do three and a half hours is quite a difference! (offsite.com.cy, 13 Jun 2017)

SUPPORTING FATHER
She admires her father who she says always stood up for her when she had bad days at school, when she suffered bullying from her peers and discouragement from teachers. "I was not a person who did not like to talk about my impairment. I was always open about it. I would be asked questions like, 'What will you do in your life with your problem?' Once, the school did not want to take me on a school trip to Greece because of my 'problem'. My father wanted me to go so he went to the headmaster and said, 'She is an independent kid. What's your problem?' I finally was allowed to go on the trip." (offsite.com.cy, 13 Jun 2017)

COLOURFUL APPEARANCE
She has numerous tattoos, piercings and often dyes her hair in bright colours. "All my tattoos mean something. It's part of me, my story. [For example] I have the dates of the [Guinness] world records that I made. Another says 'They laugh at me because I'm different, and I laugh because they are all the same'." (offsite.com.cy, 13 Jun 2017)