Born with albinism and severely visually impaired, Susana Rodrigues Gacio did not allow her legal blindness to stand in the way of her medical career or sporting achievements. She has become an influencer who has overcome the stereotypical norms for success.
Susanna Rodriguez Gacio graduated in physiotherapy in 2009. From there, she went on to graduate from the University of Santiago de Compostela with a degree in medicine. She started her residency as an intern physician at the Hospital Clinico de Santiago de Compostela the next year.
As a child, Susana Rodriguez Gacio combined her dedication to sport with her passion for medicine. She started practising athletics with the National Organisation of the Spanish Blind in 1998 and competed in adapted athletics competitions until 2008 when she did not qualify for the Paralympics. Two years later she tried competing in triathlons where she would achieve great success.
Her competing in the Rio Paralympics with her guide Mabel Gallardo in 2016 saw her place fifth in the individual triathlon event. Susana Rodriguez Gacio went on to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first Spanish athlete to participate in two sports modalities in the same year, i.e., triathlon and athletics.
Due to COVID-19, the Tokyo Paralympics were held the following year, i.e., 2021. Susana Rodriguez Gacio became the Paralympic Triathlon Champion in the PTVI category along with her guide Sara Loehr.
With regards to her sporting career, Susana Rodriguez Gacio has also received five gold medals in five World Championships, and three gold medals at three European Championships. Her long, successful sports career, together with her work in the public health sector in Spain during the 2020 COVID pandemic led to TIME Magazine putting her on their cover.
Susana Rodriguez has received numerous awards and honours during her career. She received the Premio Gallego del Ano awarded by El Correo Gallego, Terras de Santiago, Correo TV, and Radio Obradoiro in 2014. The National Organisation for the Spanish Blind dedicated a coupon to her because of her 2020 Paralympic Games participation. She was also awarded the Special Prize for MAS Talent on Board in 2021. This is one of the three special awards, delivered in collaboration with Iberia, for the BIII Women to Follow Awards.
Susana Rodgriguez Gacio has not sat on her laurels, however. She still works hard toward achieving new goals both in her work and sporting life.
As a conference speaker, Susana Rodriguez Gacio speaks about the various aspects of attaining success, like the challenges faced and how to deal with them. She lives in Spain and is a true polyglot. She is fluent in Spanish, Gallego, and English with a professional working proficiency in Portuguese and an elementary proficiency in French.
4.9 from 5.0 from our employee survey following the event And below some comments -- So great guest speaker and did the impact we needed - "What an amazing story - should inspire us on our day to day tasks and motivation - Sorry, did depart earlier and couldn't see her. But as you cannot submit the form without rating I rated then 5 stars. - Very inspirational and impressive story - People will never cease to amaze me! If we could see with no eyes I think we would less blind to courageous human interaction. - You feel so small when you think about what Susana has achieved while we still complain about our little daily problems. Really inspiring! - Very inspiring and down to earth. It was very good to see her talking about her challenges and how she manages to reach the top. - Very inspirational speech with a very positive mindset. She showed us that everything is possible. - Great speaker, very inspiring session. - Absolutely fantastic, impressive story, impressive lady. - Truly super inspiring and motivating story . What a passion and perseverance ! - Still speechless, a brave person leading by her own example and inspiring others to believe in themselves - I'd give 10 points if I could. Such an inspiring person helping much to put yourself back in the right place and content and never give up. Fail to success is key. I loved her! impressed - Great story, great resilience and achievement - Very important topic for our values. - It was amazing, motivating was a great connection to the theme of 2024, was a making moments moment, ESG it ticked all the boxes of a great event, and also the fact that was the ending of the conference allowed for time of reflection and made it also an emotional ending - Very inspirational, great connection to our theme and diversity topic as well as the destination we had the meeting in. - She is a wonder woman, very inspiring! Very good choice - Incredible super women, very motivating and inspirational story - Super motivating and emotional - Very good, on the point and not too long, very inspiring - Very inspiring story! - AMAZING! Key takeaways for me based on generic principles/values that can be applied in Sports as well as in our day-to-day business: - Be disciplined and fight for your goals - To fail is part of the learning process. - We cannot choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude which we will face all situations with. - Absolutely remarkable guest speaker that was so inspiring and touching. I sinly loved it, that was for me the best closing Guest speaker ever had. - So much energy and courage; this helps to put things into perspective. It was inspiring - I expected a speech linked with our industry and Hilton. Values could be similar as the hotel ones." Promotivate comment: "This is one of the very best feedbacks we have ever received on any speaker (Susana) and wish Susana every success going for a second Paralymic Gold medal in Paris 2024."