Adolfo Almarza is a Chilean mountain biker born in 1988 who competes in various categories such as Downhill, Enduro, and Road. Almarza lost his legs at a young age, and for this reason he uses two prosthetic legs to ride his bike, in boht local and international competitions.
When people talk about athletes with physical disabilities, it is very often assumed that these athletes are weak, talking about them with compassion or pity. However, Adolfo’s case it’s totally different. He is a fighter.
From the first moment you meet him, Adolfo radiates an unusual passion and energy. This is why in DARK DOG we have decided to make a little interview, to infect each other with some motivation and good vibes. We hope you enjoy it.
-What is it that you like the most about sports?
What I like about sports is that they help in every aspect of my life, not only physically, but also spiritually and emotional.
-What do you feel when you ride a bike?
It’s the time when I disconnect from the rest of the world. It’s my personal therapy, and my psychologist. I feel like flying and flowing. It’s priceless.
-Can you describe your training routines?
They are divided into several activities: training at the gym, electro stimulation, and obviously riding: Road, Enduro and Downhill. The routines will always vary according to the type of activity (races, travels or challenges). The training is adapted to the needs.
-Do you think it is true to say: “If it was easy … it would be called football”?
We all know that football is the most popular sport in the world. I must say that the phrase “If it was easy … It would be called football” is a disrespect to all football players. I believe that in any sport, no matter which one it is, you must work hard in order to be successful. We must respect all kinds of activities.
- Was there a moment, a day, a person or something that made you change? What made you get up and start fighting for your dreams?
Shortly after the accident, my father and my mother met a man who had also lost his legs. When I met him he showed me that it was possible to have a normal life despite having no legs. When I heard his story, I changed my mind and I decided to move forward to enjoy a normal life. From that day I began the hard work that today is paying off.
-What has been your main support all these years to overcome difficulties?
My family, my faith in God, and the trust in myself. I would like to focus on this last one, as many times you can be surrounded by the best doctors, psychologists or whoever, but if you do make an effort for yourself, nothing will really happen. Much depends on oneself.
- What has been the hardest moment of your career?
The most difficult time was in 2013 in the city of Iquique, Chile. I had an accident where I fell off a12-meter-high cliff and I broke my hip. When I knew that my hip was fractured, it went through my head that all my plans would stop for a long time, and that was really hard.
-How do you think other competitors see you?
They see me as their equal, and I like that a lot.
-Describe yourself in 3 words.
-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself being a rally / Dakar driver.
-Do you think that mountain biking should be an Olympic sport?
I think extreme sports in general should be put together in a single category, perhaps following the idea of the International Olympic Committee.
-Who are your role models in the world of sports?
For me, the biggest referent is Travis Pastrana. He is a worldwide icon of extreme sports.
Adolfo, thank for giving us this little interview. It has been a great pleasure to get to know this amazing athlete and person. Definitely a role model not only in the world of sports, but also in real life!
(Pictures by Dogman Photos)