“What I really want is to inspire people in Suriname to take up sports and show them that everything is possible.”
Long jumper Biondi Misasi is hoping to qualify for his third Paralympic Games this September and optimistic he can win Suriname’s first ever Paralympic medal.
Suriname made their Paralympic debut at the Athens 2004 Games with two athletes and at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympics Misasi was his country’s sole competitor.
The visually impaired athlete now wants to make history for his country.
“I truly believe I can win a bronze medal in the long jump event,” said Misasi in case he finally meets the Rio 2016 qualification standards.
“The truth is that I am still too far behind the best athletes, thus winning a gold or silver medal is impossible for me. But I am working hard to pick up the bronze.”
Cuba dominated the long jump four years ago in London with Luis Felipe Gutierrez and Angel Jimenez Cabeza taking the gold and the silver respectively.
“I look up to Luis Felipe [Gutierrez]. He is such a good athlete!” said the 25-year-old, who finished seventh in the long jump T13 at London 2012, his best Paralympic performance so far.
Last year, Misasi competed at the Toronto Parapan American Games, where he finished fourth in the long jump T11/12 event.
“I felt really good while competing in Toronto. I especially remember the long jump event because I got injured after my second jump,” he said.
“I felt pain but kept competing because I really wanted to make it to Rio. Besides, I knew I had chances of winning a Parapan American medal, even though I finally ended in fourth place.”
Rio 2016 would be Misasi’s third Paralympic Games. He recalls his two previous experiences with joy.
“Beijing 2008 was spectacular. I was just 16 years old back then and enjoyed the Games very much. I never imagined I would go to China,” he said.
“I performed better in London because I was four years more experienced. Those were great Games. And it was during my stay there that I tried fish and chips for the first time. I enjoyed that a lot!”
Although he has yet not qualified for Rio 2016, Misasi is already looking further ahead.
“I want to compete until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. But what I really want is to inspire people in Suriname to take up sports and show them that everything is possible.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.