Alfonsina Maldonado

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Alfonsina Maldonado
BornAlfonsina Maldonado Urse
(1984-12-09) 9 December 1984 (age 39)
Florida, Uruguay
OccupationAgricultural technician, equestrian, lecturer
  • Jorge Maldonado (father)
  • Marisa Urse (mother)

Alfonsina Maldonado (born 9 December 1984) is a Uruguayan agricultural technician, equestrian, and lecturer.


Alfonsina Maldonado is the daughter of Marisa Urse and Jorge Maldonado. At the age of six months, she suffered an accident which left first degree burns on the entire left side of her body. She spent 32 days in a coma and underwent 17 surgeries, resulting in the loss of her left hand.[1] Until age five she was a patient at the burn unit of the Military Hospital of Montevideo (es).

She attended School No. 105 Costas de Aria in Florida for her primary education, which she rode to on horseback. She entered the Florida School of Poultry, where she graduated with a degree in agricultural technology. She also took a course at the Uruguayan Army's Riding School to be an equine-assisted therapy instructor.[2]

When Maldonado was 21 years old, she left her country, home, family, and friends to move to Europe. She first lived in Barcelona, where she got a job. She then moved to Yeguada del Lago in Caldes de Malavella, where she worked for five years and met Fandango, a horse with which she tried out for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.

Maldonado gives motivational lectures to people who lack an extremity, demonstrating that this is not an impediment to being happy.[1]

In June 2016 she published an autobiographical book titled El desafío de vivir (The Challenge of Living).[3]


Maldonado tried out for the 2012 London Paralympics as the only Latin American in the Grade IV Grand Prize category. She finished two points short of the minimum score to qualify.[4] She next prepared with another horse, Zig-Zag, to participate in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.[5] She traveled to the Netherlands for the last qualifying event.[6] In March 2016 she was invited to Rio to compete in dressage. This was her first Paralympic appearance.[7][8] She finished 8th in the event, with a score of 59.857.[9] She remained positive despite being disappointed with the result.

I did get huge support to get here so my message is that if you dream it you can do whatever you do to reach it. The most important thing is to be a good person and be kind.

Here we are real heroes. Not everyone is a real hero but the most important thing is to be a nice person.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Martin, Patricia (3 December 2014). "Alfonsina Maldonado: La niña que quería ser amazona" [Alfonsina Maldonado: The Girl Who Wanted to be an Amazon]. El Observador (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. "La historia de vida de Alfonsina Maldonado, un ejemplo de resiliencia" [The Life Story of Alfonsina Maldonado, an Example of Resilience] (in Spanish). Teledoce. 10 January 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  3. Font, Silvina (6 June 2016). "La atleta paralímpica Alfonsina Maldonado presenta su primer libro: 'El Desafío de Vivir'" [Paralympic Athlete Alfonsina Maldonado Presents Her First Book: 'El Desafío de Vivir']. LaRed21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  4. Howell, Robert (9 June 2016). "Para equestrian: Q&A with Alfonsina Maldonado". Paralympic Games. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  5. Benítez, Pablo (27 May 2016). "Rendirse jamás: la impactante historia de Alfonsina" [Never Surrender: The Shocking Story of Alfonsina]. El Observador Referí (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  6. "Alfonsina Maldonado a un paso de los Juegos Paralímpicos Río 2016" [Alfonsina Maldonado One Step Away From the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games]. Caras (in Spanish). 19 January 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  7. Frugoni, Javier (25 March 2016). "Alfonsina Maldonado lo hizo" [Alfonsina Maldonado Did It]. Durazno Sports (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  8. Amaya, Sebastián (8 September 2016). "La historia de los cuatro uruguayos en los Juegos Paralímpicos" [The Story of the Four Uruguayans in the Paralympic Games]. El Observador Referí (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  9. "Dressage – Championship Grade IV". Paralympic Games. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  10. "Equestrian: Top quotes of Rio 2016". Paralympic Games. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2017.

External links

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