“”When I had an obstacle when training, I looked for solutions””
Adiaratou Iglesias “Adi” (Mali, 1999) was world runner-up in adapted athletics at the age of just 20 and has just done extremely well in Tokyo, winning 100m gold and 400m Paralympic silver in her category.
In 2010 she left Mali because of local superstitions about people with albinism; as a child she knew she was different because she was white, but it wasn’t until she arrived in Spain that she came across the term “person with albinism”.
Now she talks about her successes and future plans.
B.S: Congratulations on winning gold and silver in Tokyo, what did these medals mean to you and what are your next goals in the sporting world?
A.I: These medals have been a big step towards my next challenges. It is an indescribable feeling that I am still absorbing. My next goal is the World Championships in Japan in 2022 and of course I have my sights set on Paris 2024.
A.I: How did you get started in the world of adapted athletics?
A.I: I told my mother that I loved athletics and I started working with a coach who had been a Paralympian and that my mother had seen by chance that he was in Lugo. After a while, I started in adapted sport.
B.S: What challenges have you had to overcome in your daily life in sport as a person with albinism?
A.I: The challenge has been to improve day by day. When I had an obstacle when it came to training, I looked for solutions.
B.S: What would you like to do when your sporting career is over?
A.I: I would like to be a sports physiotherapist or a children’s teacher.
B.S: Tell us, based on your experience, what it means to be born with albinism in an African country.
In my case, mIine has been a “quiet” life. My parents took measures to protect me so that nothing would happen to me. One of them was that I couldn’t go out of my neighbourhood, so I never did.
B.S: You have been collaborating with Beyond Suncare for a couple of years, how did you get to know the NGO?
A.I: I got to know Beyond through my friend Susana Rodríguez and I decided to collaborate with them because I felt identified with them.
B.S: What would you highlight about Beyond Suncare’s work?
A.I: The distribution of sunscreen products to people with albinism who would not be able to buy them.
B.S: Do you think that in Spain we have an accurate understanding of what it means to be a person with albinism?
A.I: Only know that those people who know or know an albino do know what it means.