Video: Latina Paralympian challenges people to look beyond the disability

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LatinaLista — Ileana Rodriguez is an Olympic athlete swimmer. She is also wheelchair-bound. Rodriguez participated in the London Paralympics in 2012.

She came in 7th place in the 100m breaststroke but for all her athletic success, this 100-pound Cuban-born American can’t get people to look past her wheelchair and see the person/athlete/student/woman who she is today.

It was that pre-occupation of strangers to look at her wheelchair first and her second that served as the foundation of an inspirational talk Rodriguez delivered at a TEDx conference at Florida International University in the fall of 2012.

Challenging her audience with the question: “What do you see?”, Rodriguez shared her journey on becoming a top Paralympic athlete and encouraged everyone to see beyond the devices.

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