In 2015, swimmer Luis Andrade won his most important medal in his career when he claimed bronze in the men’s 100m butterfly S8 at the World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.
Two years later, the 22-year-old seeks to repeat or outdo that feat when he competes at his home Worlds in Mexico City.
“After the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, in 2011, I believe this is the most important Para sport event ever held on Mexican soil,” said Andrade. “Receiving so much support from the entire country makes me feel very emotional.”
At the 2011 Parapans, Andrade sealed four golds, including one in the men’s 100m butterfly S8, his favourite event. “That’s the race I am more confident of finishing among the top-three at Mexico City 2017,” he said.
“We train to win gold and that is every athlete’s dream. We will give a nice spectacle. With the home crowd cheering on me, I believe I can make it.”
Andrade also recalls the medal at Glasgow 2015 as one of his main achievements. “It was my first at a World Championships. Really great considering I swam against the world’s best.”
But beyond sports, the Mexican believes in the deep transformational power of sports. “As the host country we have a big responsibility.
“I would like kids to take up Para sports as a legacy of this event. Because disabilities are not a limitation and all people with impairment should know that.”
Last year, Andrade participated in his second Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil, but left without any medal after competing in four different events.
“The experience was great, one of the best in my life. But speaking about swimming, I feel my performance could have been better,” he admitted.
The Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships will take place from 30 September-6 October.