(Video) True Story by Juanjo Méndez and Clàudia Grau

A great example of overcoming

We invite you to meet athletes that you will be grateful to have met: Juanjo Mendez, world icon of Paralympic cycling and the young promise Claudia Grau. The two are part of the "inclusive cycling" club Genesys Cycling Team.

Juanjo Mendez became triple medalist between the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and get a meritorious 5th position in London 2012 and 9th position in Beijing.

In 1992 Juanjo Mendez suffered a serious motorcycle accident in which he almost lost his life and that radically changed his life after losing an arm and a leg.

In a long and complicated recovery, Juanjo gained a lot of weight and could barely move.

During his hospital stay he had time to watch the Paralympic Games and see that there were other athletes who had overcome difficult situations similar to his. The contagious encouragement of his friend and coach Bernat Moreno generated in him the strength and courage to want to change his situation and return to the sport through the front door.

This is how Juanjo Méndez became a triple medalist between the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 and achieved a meritorious 5th position in London 2012 and 9th position in Beijing.

But Juanjo achieved something else: becoming an icon of the Paralympic movement; the strength of his image of struggle and effort overcoming physics and the balance of an incomplete body.

But the triumphs of Juanjo Méndez do not end there. Together with his friend and coach, Bernat Moreno, he founded the club in 2002 Genesis Cycling Team.

A club that really is more than a club. Is a "inclusive club” that has helped many people (especially boys and girls with some type of disability, both physical and mental) to get out of their black holes and fight for their dreams of more self-confidence so that they say “I can”.

After 20 years, this already veteran club has given shelter to a large cycling school, two reference competition teams in para-cycling and track cycling and even, since 2021, a junior team.

Determination and tenacity of a club that were portrayed in the extraordinary documentary "Unstoppable" 2012. “Unstoppable” revolves around the preparation and participation of Juanjo Méndez and Raquel Acinas in the London 2012 Paralympics and the follow-up of the other members of the club that has always called itself “Los Piratas.

Y Claudia Grau She is one of those young women whose lives have been changed by the existence of Juanjo Méndez and the Genesis Cycling Team.

Clàudia had to suffer the tragic amputation of one leg and face a new and painful reality, but thanks to the fact that her ex-boyfriend had seen the documentary “Unstoppable”, she went to the Horta Velodrome to meet Juanjo and the club that had welcomed her since zero minute.

Today, Clàudia Grau is part of the Catalan Para-cycling Team, and for her, Juanjo and Bernat are her parents away from home.

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