Dunia Camacho Marenco is a world champion swimmer who holds eight world records and has won 58 medals – 28 of them gold — in nine World Championships.
She also has Down Syndrome. The Mexican athlete is the reigning world champion in her sport’s Female Down Syndrome category and proudly compares herself to the most decorated Olympian of all time, American swimmer Michael Phelps.
“I’m the ‘Chica Phelps’,” she said. “I always swim very hard and very fast.”
Her mother Maria Guadalupe Marenco Herrera says the sport is a tremendous help to those with her daughter’s condition.
“Sport helps people with this type of disability a great deal,” she said. “In their growth, in their life goals, they become focused. They develop greater physical capabilities and better concentration.”
Yet her daughter is now facing a fight outside the pool as she depends heavily on government funding to compete for Mexico on the global stage.
But the money hasn’t appeared for more than three years, forcing Dunia and her coaches to seek the charity of friends and family.
She is now training to compete in the 10th Down Syndrome World Championships in Australia in October.
As Dunia waits on the funding to represent Mexico there, she is depending on national authorities to recognize the importance of her fight.
I produced this package for CGTN America correspondent Alasdair Baverstock, which you can see on the CGTN website here.