Sara Vargas: "I want to be among the top five at Tokyo 2020"

Young Colombian swimmer who stood out at the Lima 2019 Parapan hoping for a successful Paralympics 29 Nov 2019
a female Para swimmer in the pool sticks her tongue out
Sara Vargas se convirtió en cuádruple campeona Parapanamericana con apenas 12 años
ⒸLima 2019
By Sara Vargas | For World Para Swimming

I'm not going to lie; I did expect to win at least one title at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games because that's what I had been training for. But being on the podium in all the events I competed in was just incredible.

Such a performance meant a lot to me. I'm very happy and satisfied with what we've achieved because we had trained hard. Four gold and one silver medals! They inspired me to keep training and winning medals. 

Without a doubt, the race I especially remember is the 100m backstroke as it was, in principle, my weakest one. Therefore, winning the gold was a surprise for me.

I remember returning home and my family welcoming me and sharing their happiness. However, I could not celebrate much as I went to sleep immediately after; I was so tired! 

It was also a nice recognition to be chosen Best Female Para Athlete of Lima 2019 by the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC). It was an extremely close poll and I went to bed the last night thinking we were going to lose, so it was a nice surprise. Congratulations also to the rest of the nominees.

Now, I'm aiming to participate in next year's Paralympic Games. I want to be among the top five at Tokyo 2020, preferably in all events I take part in. I want to become one of the best in the world and compete against the best in the world. That is my ultimate dream. Personally, I want to finish my studies and go to college to pursue a career in sports science.

Beyond that, I want to be happy. And swimming helps me to be. I feel great when I'm in the water.

Someone I especially want to thank is my sister, a high-performance athlete who instilled in me such a beautiful love for sports. Also to my coach Stevens Ruiz; without his motivation and affection I would not have been able to obtain these results.

Of course I also need to thank my parents, my big family with my uncles, cousins, friends and acquaintances who always supported me and wished me the best. I also want to thank all the beautiful people I have known since I started competing and who devote their time to supporting the athletes, including all the staff of the Colombian Paralympic Committee, the District Institute of Recreation and Sport and the Ministry of Sport of Colombia.

Last but not least, thanks to God that gave me a life to be happy and do what I love the most: swim.