Thursday, October 6

Blind descents to the rhythm of six-finger symphonies



A Pepe Garcia (Granada, 2003) does not like compartments. He is a pianist, an elite skier and a Computer Engineering student. Everything. «I am a pianist and a skier. At the same time that in the future I can work on the piano, I also aspire to qualify for the Paralympic Games. I have nothing as a hobby. Both are work. And then we’ll see with engineering. Why am I going to choose if I can combine it with everything for the moment? “, He asks himself with a logic and a precise agenda: at 8 in the morning, University; at 3.30 pm, gym; at 17:30, Conservatory. Although she admits it: «I get stressed out a lot, but I try to organize myself as well as possible. Skiing more than a job helps me to relax and relaxes me ».

With this declaration of intent it is normal that your high disability, no vision in one eye and very little vision in the other, and a gene mutation that prevented him from fully developing his left arm and right hand, it is just one more characteristic of his personality.

«Society gives messages that we are less capable. And it is not like that. We just need more time or do it differently. The ski that I practice is with a guide, I have a person in front of me, but I get to the same thing. The problem is that the person believes that he is less qualified. We are not, we have different capacities ”, he explains to ABC.

García adapts and with this he has managed to turn the world of sports and music as they are. She fell in love with the piano after seeing a friend play and now she gives concerts with her scores adapted for six fingers. He started skiing because no one, not his teachers or his parents – even though his mother couldn’t bear to see him go down – told him he couldn’t. «At my school, my teacher Jorge Marín was always incredibly supportive. If you had to ride a bike, Pepe would ride a bike like his classmates. In a week of snow they told us that we would go skiing. My mother said that that week I would not go to school, but the teacher replied ‘What do you mean? I started to like it and then I would go up a lot with my father. With ONCE I started more seriously. The Granada sports coach told me to start competing. But he was third, fourth or fifth, not very well the first years.

But he persevered; there they are, he confesses, many hours of tears. «People have to see that things can be achieved. But I am not ‘mister wonderful’. It is not arrive and done. I’ve been working for ten years to get to the national ski team. And nine playing the piano to be what I am now. I will not say that whoever wants can. There are impossible things. I can’t play ten finger sheet music. It is possible what you work and if you look for the means to achieve it ».

He had to persevere to find the right means to launch himself down the slopes. “It was chaos to find a guide, and we have the snow right here. Nobody wanted. The one who has a level is a teacher; Being a guide is not lucrative. You don’t pay fortfait, but you only get paid on the day of the competition “, he complains. «Thanks to the director of the Inclusive Winter Sports Federation I met Javi calvo, and thanks to him, who wanted to be a guide, I improved. We train every weekend and you reach a rapport that is noticeable on the track ». He was runner-up in Spain, his door to the national team. Now he is recovering from an injury, but his dream of reaching the Paralympic Games remains more alive than ever, hence his hours in the gym, although he still cannot feel that adrenaline rush that gives him a descent with the skis and his guide.

«We put the barriers ourselves. I am the first to be overwhelmed with zero. And that already puts limits on me. Y If I put up barriers, I can’t do it anymore. If I get discouraged while skiing, I have to tell my guide to cheer me up. If you trust me, I’ll get on it. If I can’t, I look for other people to help me, ”he admits. Due to the injury, he no longer has the option of qualifying for Beijing 2022, but at 18 he has time and desire and determination and a lot of discipline to reach the goal of
Milan 2026

Pepe García, at the piano, his other profession
Pepe García, at the piano, his other profession

Meanwhile, music gives him relaxation and concentration to combine everything, also the career of Computer Engineering, which he arrived for his grades (13.08 in Selectivity) and his love for artificial intelligence and with which he would like to form a partnership more inclusive. He does not drive, something he would like to avoid depending on others, and still, he looks out for others: «There is an application missing to find parking spaces for people with disabilities. And for blind people, glasses with a sensor that will tell us if the traffic light is red or we can pass». Your next goals for this budding high performance skier, pianist and engineer. “Failure,” he says, “is not trying.”

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