Lucia Montenegro launched her athletics international career only this year, but has already shown huge potential. Last March, the Argentinian wheelchair racer claimed two golds at the Sao Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games.
But the 16-year-old knows there is a long and winding path to follow before she becomes a top athlete. With the Nottwil 2017 World Para Athletics Junior Championships just around the corner, Montenegro dreams big and hopes one day to be “like Tatyana McFadden,” her hero.
“Tatyana is someone I look up to, she runs so well. I still have not had the chance to meet her, but would love to,” she said. “Of course she is a world and Paralympic champion, I am just starting. But if I keep training and making an effort, would love to be a bit like her.”
Montenegro will compete in the women’s 100m, 200m and 400m T51-54 – youth (U18) at Nottwil 2017. “It would be incredible to win gold, but I am not sure if I will be able to do it as it is going to be very competitive,” she said.
“Just competing at a Junior World Championships makes me feel proud and I will give it all to win a medal. If not, I want to achieve a personal best. But already to represent my country at an international event is amazing.”
The young Para athlete also recalls this year’s Youth Parapans, her first international event, as a “beautiful experience where I met many people and will never forget.
“I remember climbing onto the podium, listening to the national anthem and watching the Argentinian flag being raised. It was very emotional for me. I remember the adrenaline and the excitement.”
When she is not training, Montenegro can be found at school, listening to music or going out with her friends. But she rapidly switches back to athletics.
“My biggest dream is to compete at a Paralympic Games and be among the top 10 wheelchair racers in the world,” she said. “I am young and have a lot of time to keep improving. If I invest my time in training, it is not impossible to achieve.”
More information can be found on the Nottwil 2017 website.