SPOTLIGHT

Photos by Casey B. Gibson

Three-time Paralympic handcyclist Oz Sanchez, who has two gold medals among his six Paralympic medals, is proud of his Mexican heritage.

Oz Sanchez remains focused on his goal

While the COVID-19 global health pandemic has impacted nearly every athlete and postponed the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics until summer 2021, Oz Sanchez feels fortunate. A three-time Paralympian who has won six Paralympic medals and has his sights set on winning three gold medals at Tokyo, Sanchez’s life has also changed dramatically – but in different ways than one might expect.

Sanchez, who is one of the world’s top handcyclists, and his wife purchased a new home in the mountains west of San Diego. They had their first child, Benicio.

Although many athletes have struggled to maintain their training regimens and find a place to work out, Sanchez fortunately was well prepared. A year ago, he tired of waiting to use equipment at the gym and instead purchased his own weights and other equipment.

With the move out of an urban setting, he goes on rides in the mountains. Sanchez believes that the hilly rides and recently hot weather should provide good preparation for Tokyo.

“I’m not surviving here, I’m thriving in spite of quarantining and COVID,” Sanchez said. “COVID didn’t change much. I was already training in solitude.”

 

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