Thanks to the support of our donors, last January 28th, United for Colombia Team participated in the renowned 2018 Miami Marathon, www.themiamimarathon.com. A group of 9 beneficiaries flew to Miami to race in either their hand bikes or with their prosthesis. Among them, Cristian Torres and Pierry Ramirez finished in 1st place in the Marathon and Half Marathon Wheelchairs respectively. Here are the admirable stories of each one of our athletes:
Harlen Ospino, In May 2008, during a military operation against a guerrilla group, Harlen stepped on a landmine field and lost both legs. UFC has sponsored his prosthesis since then and this year gave him the specialized Running Prosthesis. He lives happily in Bogotá with his wife and 2 daughters, all of whom work together to help Harlen train and prepare for Marathons. He works as a Warehouse Assistant in a multinational company.
Camilo Diaz, In July 2008, during a military operation in Uribe, Meta; Captain Diaz stepped on a landmine and lost his left leg. After the accident, he retired from the army and became an attorney. He lives in Bogotá with his wife and 8 year-old son. UFC has sponsored his prosthesis leg since that fateful day. Last year, Camilo was the recipient of a professional running prosthesis from German prosthetics company: Ottobock. Camilo is now a proud ambassador of Ottobock.
Fabio Rendon, in July 2008, Fabio was a soldier in the Colombian Army. During an operation in the state of Nariño, Fabio stepped on a landmine and lost his left leg. Last year, Fabio joined the Paralympic team in Bogotá and trains every day. UFC has supported him since the date of the accident with his prosthetic leg and it´s regular maintenance.
Jhon Montero, in 2008 stepped on a landmine in a military operation in the state of Huila. After retiring from the Army, he studied Graphic Design and works in a Call Center in Bogotá. He wears a state of the art prosthesis but dreams to have a specialized prosthesis to run.
Leonardo Varon, in 2008 while inspecting illicit crops in the state of Valle del Cauca, he stepped on a landmine that caused the loss of both legs. UFC sponsored his prosthesis which 7 years ago helped him discover an athlete within himself. Leonardo started training in the hand cycle and has achieved international prizes in the marathons of Washington DC, New York, Miami and Spain.
Daniel Toro, on 2015, while he was training in the military duty, Daniel stepped on a landmine in the state of Antioquia and lost both legs. He started training in hand cycle since last year and this was his first international competition.
Pierry Ramirez was in the Police 20 years ago when an explosive artifact exploded close to his base and caused him permanent spinal injuries. Since that brutal day, he has been confined to a wheelchair. He is now the representative of Achilles International in Colombia and works in the United State Embassy. He has practiced many Paralympic sports but nowadays his specialty is the handcycle.
Cristian Torres is a policeman’s son. He was born with the Phocomelia disease; a rare defect in which no long bones develop resulting in malformations of the arms and legs. Nevertheless, his drive and motivation has led him to become a renowned athlete. He holds 5th place in the T53 category worldwide! In the last Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he obtained an Olympic diploma.
Camilo Quiroga, when he was just 17 years old, during a combat between illegal groups, a stray bullet injured him and caused medullar paralysis. He is a Managerial Administrator and works at the Colombian Presidency.