“I don’t let others put limits on me.”
Born with a bilateral tibial agenesisa congenital malformation that resulted in the loss of his legs. But Audrey Pascualan 18 year old woman from Madrid, has become European champion in adapted skiing, World Cup champion and second in the World Championships. We are talking about a young woman who perfectly embodies the values of self-improvement, effort and determination to go beyond limits. Because, in addition, she is also an excellent surfer in the kneel categorywhere he has already competed at the international level.
From the age of 6 months she was already in the water to strengthen her muscles and her constancy, her enormous mental strength and the support of her family has led her to become an exemplary woman in Spain.
You practice skiing, surfing, handbike…. do you have a gift for sports?
I don’t know if I have a gift, what I have is the need to practice sports. I enjoy them, I like them and I have always done them. I started swimming when I was six months old by medical prescription and I think that’s when I got hooked, haha. My father is also very sporty, so I’ve always seen it at home and I must have inherited some genetics too.
How did you get to each of them and which one do you like the most?
I came to skiing because my cousins have always practiced it and they love it, so I wanted to try it. I asked my mother and she found the Fundación También who gave us all the means to practice it… and I’m still with them, happy in the same team and with the same coach for 6 years.
Surfing was for going one weekend with my friends to Somo (Cantabria). I was lucky to meet Pedro Gutierrez, from the Cantabrian federation, and thanks to him I could go to the World Championship in the United States. And that’s what gets you hooked.
I can’t choose, when I ski I like skiing more, but when I surf, I change my mind. I think what I like is to compete, the two sports are similar, sliding, and need a lot of training and technique and I like that.
Would you like to practice other competitive sports or you can’t make a living anymore?
I would like to try some that I have left pending, but between studying for my degree and physique training or skiing and surfing, I don’t have much time available now. I also like to travel and hang out with friends, so I have to dedicate time to that as well. Maybe in the future, who knows.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a Paralympic sport?
I would encourage him or her, without a doubt. Sport is good for everything and everyone. It is good for yourself, both for your mental and physical health, but through sport you also share incredible moments, meet people from different cities or countries, travel, go to competitions and live experiences that otherwise would not be possible. Besides, the more the merrier, so if someone is thinking about it…, don’t hesitate and start now!
Sport is good for you, both for your mental and physical health, but you also share incredible moments.
What is your day to day life like? From the time you wake up until you go to bed.
When the season starts, I wake up early and I usually do some physical first thing. After breakfast we go train for about 3 hours or a little more and then we go for lunch. Then we meet to watch the videos and analyze mistakes, a little more physical and then it’s time to study or ask for notes to try to be up to date. Prepare the material for the next day, have dinner and go to sleep.
That’s what we do during training or competitions, because there are also some weeks when I go to the gym first thing in the morning and then I do my normal student life.
Are the workouts too hard?
Normally no, but you have to train, so if you have a blizzard or a very cold or hot day in the snow, or with bad snow, it’s not pleasant. The same with surfing, there are cold days, with very rough seas, when you don’t enjoy it as much.
There are also days when “things don’t work out” and it frustrates a little bit, but normally everything goes well and, in fact, the results are, as a rule, much better than in competitions.
What have been your main sporting achievements and what are your next challenges?
In skiing those of this year, that I have won the Spanish Cup, the European Cup, the World Cup and got a silver medal at the World Championships, it has been a perfect year. My goal for next season is to participate in more World Cup events and keep winning medals.
In surfing my best performance was in 2021, a bronze medal at the World Championships. This year I will try to make it a gold or silver.
Do you dream of Paralympic medals?
Sure, I would love to! My goal is to win a medal in skiing and a medal in surfing at the Winter Paralympics and the Summer Paralympics, but for now it’s not possible because parasurfing is not a Paralympic sport. The first thing then will be to try to get a medal in skiing at the next winter Paralympics in Milan – Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2026.
How much of your success is due to the support of your parents?
My parents support me in everything, they make everything easy. We are a good team. As I said, my father is very sporty and we have participated together in popular races, we have skied together, and also surfed. My mother is the logistical support, she takes care of everything.
I also have to thank the Fundación También and my sponsors, Almar Consulting and Allianz, and also the collaborators, without them nothing would be possible.
Who or who are your references or examples in the world of sport?
Well, I admire many athletes, I love Rafa Nadal, Teresa Perales, Carolina Marín, Aritz Aramburu, Marc Márquez, Jon Santacana and Miguel Galindo, etc. I like all those who enjoy sports as much as I do. There are many more, Spanish and foreigners, these are the ones that come to my mind now.
Do you consider yourself an example of self-improvement?
No, not really. I love what I do and I enjoy life, that’s what we should all do. And if there is any impediment, we should all work to solve it, as the Fundación También has done, adapting the sport according to the disability of each person. That is why I believe that organizations like these are the ones that should be recognized as an example.
What would you like to do that you haven’t tried?
Some sport is still pending for me, hahaha. I would really like to try karting and athletics. I’m very busy right now, but as soon as I have an opening, I’ll give it a try.
Do you set limits for yourself?
Not directly. Indirectly the body or the mind sometimes set them. What I don’t let others put them on me, especially not because I have a disability.
What are your hobbies outside of sports?
I love to travel, go out with friends, listen to music, watch a series… I love fashion, styling… I like what anyone my age likes.