The 18-year-old swimmer isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic stand in the way of his gold-medal dreams

By Jason Duaine Hahn
July 22, 2020 02:51 PM
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Sebastián Galleguillo has his sights set on a gold medal, and though the coronavirus pandemic has led to the shutdown of his local training facilities, the young athlete has found a way to improvise.

According to Reuters, the 18-year-old, who's a member of Argentina's team of deaf swimmers, recently built a makeshift pool in his backyard with the help of his father.

"I said to my mom: I want to train again because I am becoming rigid, I am losing mobility in my body ... It’s not the same to train outside as being in the water," Galleguillo recalled to the outlet.

Galleguillo's father, 47-year-old Edmundo Hernandez, is a bricklayer who used his skills to construct the pool outside of their home using "plastic sheets, logs, an old tank and two metal drums." The setup allowed the father-son duo to pour in over 105 gallons of water to complete the pool.

"We made do with what we had here and we started building," Hernandez told Reuters. "The first day was nailing logs on the floor, the second was putting sheets and plastics so that the water does not drain."

Sebastian Galleguillo
Sebastián Galleguillo
| Credit: Sebastian Galleguillo/Instagram

"Later, we bought a 15-meter-long by 4-meter wide plastic that forms a bag and that is what holds the water," he continued.

A video of one of Galleguillo's training sessions shows him practicing different techniques in the pool, which may eventually give him a leg up over his competitors at the 2021 Deaflympics in Brazil.

The Deaflympics is an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event for elite deaf athletes. According to the organization, the event — also known as the International Silent Games — first took place in 1924 and has been held every four years excluding a break during World War II.

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Typically, the Deaflympics are held the year following the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. Like the Olympics, the event features sports such as basketball, volleyball, and table tennis.

According to the New York Times, Argentina has seen 136,118 cases and 2,490 deaths attributed to coronavirus as of Wednesday afternoon.

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