“I want the documentary to show people with an impairment that don’t dare to go out that there still is a whole life ahead after an accident. Nowadays you can do anything you want."
The moment Astrid Fina rode down the indoor track in the Landgraaf Para Snowboard World Cup marked the start of the most important season of her career. It is the season that can take her to the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, next year.
“Since I started I fight to be in Korea. And it is worth all the sacrifices I’ve made to be in the Games,” said the Spanish snowboarder.
Fina is not alone in her journey. Wherever the 34-year-old rider goes a camera crew follows her. Fina’s story as the first Spanish snowboarder to compete in the Paralympics will become a documentary. PyeongChang will hopefully be the closing sequence.
“The whole project started when I took part in one event for women where I went to tell my story. Marc Galver, the documentary director, was the only man filming at the event,” said Fina.
Galver had a career in advertising and had been looking for a story for his long-planned first documentary. When he met Fina he realised the search was over.
“I couldn’t believe when I heard the story. I immediately got in touch with Astrid and I thought that I wanted to tell her story. We started shooting in 2015 and it has been a challenge for both of us, I had never filmed in the snow before,” said the Spanish filmmaker.
“What I like the most about this project is how much it surprises you. Her accident, the Paralympic Games, she’s just an incredible human being,” added Galver.
Fina had never tried snow sports until her motorcycle was hit by a car in 2009 and she lost her right foot. After she recovered, a snowboarder friend invited her to try the sport and told Fina about a Spanish Paralympic national team trial to find winter sport athletes.
In 2013 she was already competing internationally. A year later Fina was at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi. She finished sixth in the snowboard cross standing and believes she can go further in PyeongChang.
“I was so nervous in Sochi that I couldn’t really enjoy the Games. Now I know where I’m going, I know what I will face and what I am able to do. That is the most important thing for an athlete, to be able to enjoy the Games. I hope I will get even better physically and mentally than I am right now,” said Fina.
Her preparations for PyeongChang in the summer included a lot of workout in the gym but also surfing, stand up paddle and cycling. Now it is time for the winter season and for the final part of a documentary that Fina hopes will be more than a story about her life.
“I want the documentary to show people with an impairment that don’t dare to go out that there still is a whole life ahead after an accident. Nowadays you can do anything you want. I started from scratch, I had never been on a snowboard before and now I am on the way to my second Paralympic Games.
“I hope I can contribute a grain of sand to those people who still have it so difficult in their daily lives. And I hope people will like it. The documentary looks good,” said Astrid with a smile.