Culture, sport and two incredible stories about overcoming difficulties

We are continuing to work for a more inclusive society. Culture and sport should be accessible to everyone, that's why we have opened the doors of the Teatro Real in Madrid to Sara and Lourdes, two Paralympic athletes with two incredible stories about overcoming difficulties.

Sport, like culture, moves the masses and stirs emotions. Sara Revuelta and Lourdes Ortega, two Paralympic players in the Spanish Basketball Team, know all about this, and thanks to Endesa and the Teatro Real in Madrid, they were able to see and enjoy opera for the first time in their lives.

Tosca tells the story of a woman who seems fragile but, after living unimaginable situations, becomes a true heroine. It is inevitable that this masterpiece by Giacomo Puccini really excited these two women who share passion and who have an incredible story to tell about overcoming difficulties.

According to the Observatory for Disability, in Spain there are more than 4 million disabled people. This represents 9% of the total population, a percentage that includes our two protagonists, both 24 years old. Sara Revuelta lost the mobility of her legs as a result of chemotherapy treatment that cured the leukemia she had suffered for two and a half years, but caused a spinal cord injury. For Lourdes Ortega, it was a virus that affected her legs when she had barely started to walk.

Lourdes Ortega and Sara Revuelta at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Lourdes Ortega and Sara Revuelta at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

None of this stopped them from becoming the professional players they are today. World Cups, European Cups, King's Cups, Leagues, Paralympics... They have accumulated so many championships and awards throughout their sports career. "Just as with culture, I could not imagine my life without sport. Both really should be accessible to everyone," Sara explained.

“Sport and culture should be accessible to everyone”.

- Sara Revuelta, Paralympic basketball player.

However, these players have not only had to defeat their opponents. Off the court, they have also had to overcome so many barriers relating to accessibility.

 

Accessibility in culture and sport

According to the European Commission, a city is accessible when the entire population has equal opportunities, both to move and to participate in everything that happens within it. In Spain more and more progress is being made in this area. So much so that, for example, Barcelona was awarded the third prize for Accessible City 2022 by the European Commission, while Palma de Mallorca was crowned as the European city with the best accessibility to natural environments, such as beaches and parks.

But there is still a long way to go. That is why, as sponsors of the Teatro Real and the Spanish Wheelchair Basketball Team, we invited Sara and Lourdes to see Puccini's opera live, one of the greatest cultural events of the moment. 

Lourdes Ortega and Sara Revuelta in the seats of the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Lourdes Ortega and Sara Revuelta in the seats of the Teatro Real in Madrid.

This was possible thanks to the fact that the Teatro Real, a 200-year-old building, has enabled lifts, areas and access for people with reduced mobility. Since it was renovated in 1997, this majestic building in Madrid has been improving accessibility because, as Borja Ezcurra, Deputy General Manager of the Teatro Real, assured us: "It is simply coherent to make culture available for everyone". 

“It is simply coherent to make culture available for everyone”.

- Borja Ezcurra, Deputy General Manager of the Teatro Real.

The Teatro Real has not only adapted its installations to people with reduced mobility, it has also incorporated a magnetic sound loop connected to the hearing aids of people with hearing disabilities so they can listen to music with higher quality. "In the end, it's about making contact with all audiences, both in terms of cultural offer and accessibility. These efforts to achieve a fairer and more equitable society are possible thanks to sponsors like Endesa", concluded Ezcurra.

Endesa is firmly committed to equality, diversity and human rights. This is why these are some of the key features in our strategy. Because, for us, capabilities will always be able to overcome any disability. 

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