On Friday 30th September I had the great pleasure of attending the very first race organised by the Juan XXIII Foundation. I have been a patron of this Foundation since last year, when I was lucky enough to visit this organisation and find out about the tireless work that they do on behalf of disabled people. I had the chance to get to know the people responsible for founding the Foundation and appreciate just how passionate they are about what they do. These guys make it possible for disabled boys and girls to have a better life and adapt to our society.
 
It was after this visit that I was made a patron of the Foundation, a role which fills me with joy and is really important to me. If everything that I have achieved as a mountaineer and sports person can be of use for this type of thing then I want to do more and more. It makes me happy, it’s as simple as that.
 
On the 30th of September the Foundation’s first race was held. Other foundations also dedicated to improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities took part, as did children from different schools in the Vicálvaro district.


 
I simply have to tell you about the emotions that I experienced when we were starting firstly the walk, and then later the race itself. Words cannot describe the nerves, that feeling that you get in your stomach. It was just like when you are getting ready to tackle an eight-thousander. You can imagine how the participants were feeling, as this was a big day for them. At the end of the race, when those taking part were reaching the finish line, and when we were presenting the prizes, I was absolutely convinced that I was the luckiest person in the world.
 
All the smiles, the kisses, the whole way in which I was treated was incredible. As sentimental as I am, I must confess to shedding a few tears. It was an amazing feeling – I think that events like this one give me the same satisfaction as conquering a mountain. I also think that they would make other sports personalities feel the same way. That’s why I think that we should do a lot more of this type of thing, because it satisfies you just as much as when you win something, score a goal or climb an eight-thousander.

 

Thanks to all of you for making it such a wonderful day.