About the speaker
Desirée Vila was a 16-year-old Galician girl with a promising career ahead as an elite acrobatic gymnast. The hours of hard training and study left her little time to go out and have fun with friends, but she enjoyed this lifestyle until a... More
Desirée Vila was a 16-year-old Galician girl with a promising career ahead as an elite acrobatic gymnast. The hours of hard training and study left her little time to go out and have fun with friends, but she enjoyed this lifestyle until a bad fall while preparing for the European Championship turned her life upside down. After several days in the hospital, medical negligence led to the amputation of her right leg. Surprisingly, Desirée’s life has not changed as much as one might imagine. The sport that had been a mainstay throughout her life crossed her path again and turned out to be the best therapy for her recovery. It removed her insecurities and encouraged her to show herself to society as she was, with her prosthesis. Patience, adaptation, and attitude are the three pillars that Desirée has clung to in order to face life with the same enthusiasm that has always characterized her.
Now, she is a Paralympic athlete who lives in the High Performance Center in Madrid, Spain, where she prepares every day to be an icon in Spanish Paralympic sports for the coming decades, but, above all, to show that everything is possible and that we set our own limitations. The current Desirée is very similar to that 16-year-old girl, leading a life with a lot of discipline and demands because “it is the only way to achieve the successes and achievements that I set for myself,” she says. She has an important goal in mind: the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. Desirée is pure light, motivation, and leaves a mark wherever she goes.
Not only is Desirée an elite athlete, she has also become the image of the famous Barbie doll brand, an ambassador of Oysho, and a role model for many young people with and without disabilities. In addition to training, collaborating with brands, and being a YouTuber, Desirée is a university student who studies international relations and holds an ambassador for the Adecco Foundation. She conducts awareness sessions demonstrating that disability is also synonymous with talent, and her personal story is a living example of overcoming and normalization.Less