One of Chile’s Top Competitive Runners is A Blind and Determined Latina

Margarita Faúndez, who has been blind since she was a child, is making waves in the running community…

She’s been training and competing for seven years as a runner for the Chilean national team.

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Credit: Mormon.org / YouTube

And she is pretty damn good. Faúndez has competed in tournaments and races all around the world from her home Chile to Qatar. ?

Her dream is finally in sight as she trains for the Rio de Janiero Paralympic Games in 2016.

“It doesn’t matter what disabilities you have, you always can,” Faúndez told RadioSportChile about pursuing her dreams of being a world-class athlete.

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She is quickly becoming one of Chile’s biggest athletic stars.

And it hasn’t changed her humility or drive. Her performances at international competitions has brought Chile’s national team several gold, silver, and bronze medals.

So, how is she able to run around a track while blind? With the help of a guide.

She has a different guide depending on the race and where she is, but even in training she has someone by her side to make sure she doesn’t go off course.

Faúndez and her guide stay connected using a small rope.

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Credit: Mormon.org / YouTube

This ensures that Faúndez doesn’t go off track.

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Despite her success, Faúndez never thought she would be a competitive runner. She credits her boyfriend, Alejandro Arellano for helping her make it.

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Credit: Mormon.org / YouTube

Arellano, another Paralympics hopeful who is partially blind, encouraged Faúndez to keep going when she felt like giving up.

She’d never been “athletic” and it wasn’t until meeting Arellano that she started to think about following his footsteps and being a world-class athlete.

“I didn’t believe him and said, ‘This isn’t for me.’ We started a relationship and after 3 months I told him, ‘Okay. I am going to try to keep up with it,’ she told El Grafico. “I owe this to him because he has encouraged me during these seven years to not give up.”

Faúndez admits that the journey has been tough, but her family and faith keep her going.

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Credit: Mormon.org / YouTube

“I’ve always believed in God, my parents were an example, they raised me in a Christian family,” Faúndez said on Mormon.org. “We are not perfect, but we make an effort to be someday.”

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