CAMAGÜEY.- David Lescano Artiles is 19 years old and he practices sports for only six months. He came to the nets of badminton by means of Nelson, a friend and teacher of the discipline, who encouraged him to try this pastime and at the same time to eliminate the sedentary lifestyle he was carrying.

But “Davisito“, as everybody knows him in the community of Rescue of Sanguily (The Paw), located close to the kilometer 10 of the highway to Santa Cruz of the South, is not a young man like others, he has a special characteristic.

He suffers of achondroplasia from his birth, a common cause of dwarfism that is related in 75 % of the cases to mutations. According to recent studies, this illness appears in one of the 25 000 newborn babies.

His history, although it is short, accumulates enormous fruits. As he demonstrated it with his participation in the Third Paralympic Festival, in November in Cienfuegos.

“For me this meeting was very important, because it was the first time that I went out of the province, I separated from my mother and met other persons with my characteristics. Also, there began my career and the sensations, those nerves in six matches that I disputed, I had never experienced them”, he tells. His début was almost perfect, conquering the first place of his category (the SS-6) and the distinctions of better masculine athlete and beginner of the contest, with five gained games and only one lost game.

“Now I have other perspectives, I take seriously my trainings and look at the future. I want to represent my country in international events, but I know that that bears a lot of efforts and sacrifices”, he says. His preparation develops without neglecting the school, his another big commitment of life, where he aspires to finish the twelfth grade.

“Earlier I did not have motives to fight for and the badminton gave them to me. That's why whenever I can, I cheer the young people up so that they continue their dreams and fight for them. Problems are always going to exist, but the greatness consists of being able to overcome them”, mentions with a conspiratorial smile, which was useful to impel him towards better results.

“That will be a fact! I already tasted the flavor of the victory and I do not want to lose it; also, I owe it to my mother and to my trainers, who always help me. Thanks to them I am here today”.

From now on, he is already preparing for future competitions, as in next May, during the new edition of the National Paralympic event, the level will be higher. Nevertheless, he feels secure. “I trust in myself and I know that I can give more, although I never stop recognizing the quality of my opponents. This time the games will be here in Camagüey and I will be able to show my skills to the family, another reason to win”.

That afternoon, I went out of David's house with the good fortitude he transmitted me during the interview. The victory depends on his effort, but he has the success in his blood and he has already begun to work his way. This young man of small body has the soul of a giant.

Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez