Spanish Paratriathlete Susana Rodriguez has put her medical career on hold as she focuses on her on goal to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Rodriguez finished fifth when Paratriathlon made its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 before winning back-to-back world titles in 2018 and 2019.
In between events and training, Rodriguez is a doctor after studying medicine at the Santiago de Compostela University before carrying out an internship.
Over the past four years, Rodriquez said she had been working within the physical medicine and rehabilitation department to become a specialist in the area before doing her bit to help the battle against coronavirus.
But with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon after it was postponed by a year due to the pandemic, Rodriguez is looking to put all her efforts into gearing up for the Games.
"Last year was a surprise with the COVID-19 pandemic and during some months, like many medical professionals in Spain, we left our daily work to join the battle against coronavirus," said Rodriguez.
"It was a quite hard year and still is even now I have stopped my medical job until I am back from the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
"I am the first blind woman to become a medical doctor in Spain and I am very pleased because I love my work.
"Now that I am just training I realised how crazy my life was trying to balance it all.
"I worked from 8am to 3pm got home at 5pm because of public transport schedule and then did my whole training from 6pm until I finished.
"I used my holidays for competing which means I did not have any rest time since Rio 2016 until 2020.
"But I say that when you love something you don’t care about the effort you put on it or the hard it is, you just go for it.
"I would like to race my second Paralympic games in Tokyo and try to win a medal although it will be very difficult.
"What I have no doubt is that I will do my best."
Tokyo 2020 is set to be the end of a roller-coaster five-year period for Rodriguez, who was diagnosed with a heart career-threatening heart condition in January 2019.
"There were some weeks when I was waiting for some genetic tests that I did not know If I could keep doing Paratriathlon because of swimming," said Rodriguez.
"Luckily all the final assessment results were quite fast and I am so pleased with my cardiologist Dr Maria Alvarez who explained things clearly and made it easier for me to make decisions."
After being cleared to train and compete again, Rodriguez said she also underwent surgery to have a heart-monitoring device inserted into her chest.
"It is all a bit weird but now I am very happy because all the data is transferred each night to the hospital and if there is any further concerns, I will know," added Rodriguez.
"I am now able to push hard again in each training session which was something that I missed for months.
"In between all the races were cancelled, training venues closed for a long time but I have tried to keep positive and enjoyed training at home every day.
"When I was back from work and I feel pleased that I could help in the health industry in Spain.
"I have learnt a lot from this ongoing situation: there is nothing as important as health and life goes first and before anything."