It’s been eight days since David Garcia is on hunger strike at the door of the Diputación de Almería. He begins to notice the effects of the lack of food in his body. “The feeling of endless hunger doesn’t go away,” she says. The acidity in his mouth is unbearable and the tremors sometimes prevent him from getting up from his chair.
But this athlete who has participated in four Summer Paralympics and has won two medals knows what it is to fight. “Hunger, pain, tiredness, sleep, the dangers of the night, are only an incentive for someone who has spent 18 years in a national team where you are only awarded if you win,” she says.
David is 41 years old, has been doing judo since he was two and a half and lives with a congenital visual impairment It hasn’t stopped you from fighting for your goals. For ten years he has been dedicated to inclusive judo thanks to the Koudougakusya Judo Club, aimed mainly at people with disability, low resources and at risk of exclusion. “It was my illusion to carry out this project when I retired from high competition in 2013”, he tells NIUS.
A decade teaching judo to vulnerable groups
But, after a decade, on May 29, he received the worst news: an eviction order from the room they occupy in the Moisés Ruiz Pavilion, an annual concession from the Almería Provincial Council. Here, David teaches this sport to over a hundred children of all ages. “They are going to stay on the street and I refuse to leave them lying without giving everything”, he assures. And, for this reason, he has started this hunger strike that will lead to the last consequences.
It is one of the few times that he does not win, he says, taking into account that he suffers from kidney problems and that the lack of food can cause significant damage. “Here nobody wins. I just want them to give us a choice, even if it’s in one smaller room, we adapt”, he assures. Next June 30, if nothing changes, they will meet on the street.
“I’m not going to give up even if I get out in an ambulance”
David implores the administrations. “Let’s see if their hearts soften,” he says. It is his last hope for a sports project that he defines as “inclusive, affordable and accessible” to continue running, which, thanks to judo, gives opportunities to more than a hundred vulnerable children. “Sport is the best form of integration”, he assures.
This elite athlete is not going to give up. “I will end the strike when they give us a solution or when they take me by ambulance”, she says emphatically. Because although he handed over the number a long time ago, David he is still mentally the same fighter always. And his goal is none other than to get a hundred children to continue learning judo in his club.
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