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Norberto Mourao one of the biggest paracanoeing surprises of the year

Norberto Mourao one of the biggest paracanoeing surprises of the year 3.12.2019

Portuguese paracanoeist Norberto Mourao was one of the best paracanoe athletes this season. First he won bronze medal at Paracanoe European Championships in May and then in August added silver medal at Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged to his collection.

In a big interview for Portuguese Record Norberto Mourao talked about his paracanoeing beginnings and sport life. It all started in 2011 after he had to strengthen his arms following the motorcycle accident in 2009 that resulted in both legs being amputated.
“I never felt down because of the accident. I wasn't one of those people who stood still thinking that life was over. I have always struggled for goals and always had the motto of doing everything I did before. I didn't stay still and went to fight for my goals. Sport has allowed me to achieve things I never thought of in my life. Apart from rehabilitation and mobility, I'm never stuck in a place. I travel around the country and around the world. Without sport it would not have been so easy,” he said in an interview.
“My mind has always been in competition, because if there was no competition I could be discouraged. This was fundamental for me to evolve,” said Norberto who was not a sportsman before the accident, “I was born in a very poor family, with a lot of difficulties. We learned to fight for things. So I never had the opportunity to play sports in a club, although they say I was apt for athletics. I liked canoeing, but just watching on TV. I had never even tried it. Only after the accident did sport come into my life, allowing me to reach levels I had never thought of before. I was a pastry chef. My life was home - work - home. Even hanging out with friends was complicated due to my schedules.”
He was already fighting for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, but failed to secure himself a spot in Brazil in kayak. In between he switched to canoe, “I always did kayak and it wasn't until now that we opted for canoe. The truth is the classifications in kayak were not fair at all. With these changes the results eventually appeared. Results are even better than we were expecting.”
And this year has been excellent in terms of results. “In this cycle I worked hard and I got one of the six vacancies, with the 2nd place at the World Championships. It is an immense joy and the fulfilment of a dream. Teamwork has been fantastic and quite difficult,” said Mourao, who said this medal was the best moment in his paracanoeing career so far. “It was undoubtedly the silver medal at this year's World Championships and a place in Tokyo 2020. However, the most unexpected moment was not this, but the bronze at the European Championships. In this race, also held this year, we were counting on a 5th or 6th place and the third was a big surprise,” he added.



Source: https://www.record.pt/fazemos-campeoes/detalhe/norberto-mourao-o-meu-lema-e-fazer-tudo-o-que-fazia-antes