Imagen
28217-Patrekur Axelsson photo

Patrekur Axelsson

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Classification
F11, T11
Guide
Helgi Bjornsson

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Icelandic

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics in November 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland. He had previously played football for 10 years.
Why this sport?
After losing his vision he contacted the Icelandic Sports Association for the Disabled. "It quickly became clear that my strength lies in sprinting. If my able-bodied running partners can run the 100m in around 11 seconds, then so should I. It drives me to strive to be at the top level in Iceland."
Club / Team
FH: Iceland

International debut

Year
2015
Competing for
Iceland
Location
Grosseto, ITA

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Qualifying for the 2018 European Championships in Dublin, Ireland. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Hero / Idol
Portuguese footballer Luis Nani. (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I chose to be in this sport, I get to practise and I enjoy it. I have the ambition and the will to always do better." (mbl.is, 13 Jul 2019)
Other sports
Prior to his impairment he played football for the Leiknir Reykjavik club in Iceland. (icelandreview.com, 04 Nov 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (icelandreview.com, 04 Nov 2016)
Impairment
He became legally blind in 2014 due to Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. "I was 10 years old when I knew this could happen to me, it was when my mother was diagnosed with the same condition. I was told there was a 50% chance that I would get it too, I also knew that I would most likely be diagnosed in my 20s. But I didn't care much about it, I just took care of myself and went on with my life. My vision is so small it is not really measurable, you say 5% to have something. I can see a difference between day and night, shadows and outlines, I distinguish black, white, and blue." (Athlete, 20 Aug 2018; mbl.is, 18 Aug 2018; icelandreview.com, 04 Nov 2016)
Other information
FAMILY INSPIRATION
His father Axel Emil Gunnlaugsson had a neurodegenerative condition and aspired to compete in Para cross-country skiing at the Paralympic Winter Games before he passed away when Axelsson was age 11. "When I was five years old, my father was diagnosed with a rare disease, and was given six to eight more years to live. He was a great skier and continued unabated, with positivity and optimism as his guiding light. When he had his leg amputated below the knee and began to use a wheelchair, he went cross-country skiing and went to a training camp in Aspen [CO, United States of America], the goal was to get to the Paralympic Winter Games. His attitude towards his illness motivated me when I became ill, and still does. It always helps me a lot to think about him." (mbl.is, 13 Jul 2019; mbl.is, 18 Aug 2018)