“No Humans Are Limited”: Athlete With 76% Disability Stuns Sports World With Historic Achievement in Marathon
On Sunday, 32-year-old Alex Roca of Catalonia, Spain, achieved something rare as he crossed the finish line of the Barcelona Marathon in 5:50:51, fulfilling his lifelong dream to run a marathon as an athlete with 76 per cent cerebral palsy.
The Catalan athlete, who is sponsored by Nike, contracted herpetic viral encephalitis at the age of six months, leaving him with 76 per cent cerebral palsy. The condition involves impaired movement and exaggerated reflexes, reducing the range of motion at various joints due to muscle stiffness.
Roca spent years training for this moment, running seven half marathons before taking on the marathon. Earlier this year, he ran the Granollers Half Marathon, finishing in 2:45:16. A month later, on Feb. 19, he completed the Barcelona Half Marathon in a personal best time of 2:38:28.
He told Spanish media El Mundo before the race that he wanted to send a message to the world. “The limit is up to you, and if you want to achieve an objective, whatever difficulties you have, with attitude, willpower, perseverance and resilience, you can achieve everything you propose. And if you do not achieve it, you will have given everything and must feel gratified.”
Roca’s achievement has inspired many and is a reminder of the power of determination and hard work. The Spanish athlete set a strong example for the entire generation of athletes.
“You set your own limits.”
“Your body does not define your capacity. If you have willpower and resilience, you can achieve a lot.
“I love the word ‘no’ because when someone tells me ‘no’, they will see how I can do it. At least, I will try,»