Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning

Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning spotlights women Olympians and Paralympians who sought to compete in the Tokyo Summer or Beijing Winter Olympi…
Jan 4th, 2023 | 23:03

Alejandra Aybar (Dominican Republic): Swimming Through Adversity

We met Alejandra when she did a Flame Bearers social media takeover in the lead up to the Tokyo Paralympics, showing us a day in her life. Alejandra now shares her more including how she went from not knowing how to swim to Paralympian in 7 years. "In 2015 when I started swimming, there was no national para team...so I was responsible for 100% of the resources to compete and train. I had to work 9 hours per day, and after that go and train." She also opens up for first the first time about her traumatic experiences with her former coach, and what she's been doing since Tokyo. We hear from two of Alejandra's best friends, one who was in Alejandra's swimming rehabilitation program 7 years ago (Bethania Diaz) and one who befriended Alejandra after reading her inspiring story in a book (Josephina Dieguez). They share who Alejandra is when the cameras aren't there, and a bit about what her journey means to them and other Dominicans. Contributing Experts include Bethania Diaz (Alejandra's Friend) and Josephina Dieguez (Alejandra's Friend). Thank you to teammates Marissa Potter and Elizabeth Michael for their help with this episode. Media clips from: -Esta Noche Mariasela's YouTube, 'Alejandra Aybar, ingeniera y nadadora paralímpica: nos habla de su condición y sus logros en la vida' -Telemicro's YouTube, 'Alejandra Aybar, Futura medalla de Oro Juegos Paralímpicos 2021 - Zona 5' Photo credit to Ricardo Piantini Hazoury APPLY TO THE FLAME BEARERS FELLOWSHIP below by midnight ET on 1/16. Application here: https://bit.ly/FlameBearersFellowship