Spaniard Juan Jose “Juanjo” Mendez lost his left arm and left leg in a motorcycle crash.
Film maker Richard Galvani is working on a documentary about “The Pirates,” a team of disabled and able-bodied cyclists who train together at the Barcelona velodrome. ome are happy to simply stay in shape, others aspire to the highest podiums in the upcoming Paralympic Games, and some are just starting out.
This first clip focuses on Juanjo. In 1992, Juanjo fainted while he was on his motorbike and crashed into a car. He lost his left arm and leg. He initially went through a period of great despair, and noticing that his inactivity was making him gain weight at an alarming rate, he began to wonder whether there was some sport he could do. He ruled out cycling for what he considered obvious reasons, until one day his doctor said: “Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. Try, and decide for yourself.”
Today Juanjo is one of the world’s top paralympic cyclists (2011 World Champion, Silver in Athens 2004 and Peking 2008). He has a good chance of winning Olympic Gold at the 2012 London Games.
Learn more about the cyclists of “The Pirates” and their stories at Unstoppables Documentary.