Oscar Sanchez crosses the line to win gold in the Mixed H 1-4 relay at the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Sept. 8, 2012 in Longfield, England.
Six-time Paralympic hand-cycling medalist Oz Sanchez has a handy explanation about why his training sessions this summer and fall may have been a little off. Sanchez, a Marine Corps Special Forces veteran who prides himself on his workouts and diligence, has been packing in life milestones this year.
First he bought a new house in June and moved to Alpine, California. The town is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego County, giving him the perfect opportunity to do mountain training right out of his own driveway.
Then, on Sept. 15, wife Jenny and Sanchez welcomed their first child, son Benicio.
Sanchez’s life is quite full of big things, between taking care of a newborn and the unpacking boxes from a big move. But his serious training mode for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2021 is starting to kick in.
“That really is quite a lot of life events in one fell swoop, but it’s all good things — family and home,” said Sanchez, 44, who has competed in three Paralympic Games. “I am lucky that I really handle change well, I don’t stress out. I am a focused person, and I know what I need to do for my training, and I am getting back into that mode.”
Sanchez is a student of the human mind and spirit, trying to unlock best practices for training and achievement. He has two six Paralympic medals — two gold, two silvers and three bronze. Add in 13 medals at the world championships, and it’s clear that Sanchez has a high level of achievement since he started elite competitive road cycling.
Now, the challenges of training and reaching a fourth Paralympic Games are more about the process for him.
“Don’t get it twisted, I want to go to Tokyo and raise hell and win everything, that is who I am as a competitor,” Sanchez said. “But I have had an evolution as a competitor — why do we compete? Why do we do what we do? Why do we stick to the hustle and grind?"
“When I started, I did it to prove myself worthy to the world for love and admiration. You win a medal, you are loved. But now, I have proven to myself that I am worthy, and I have nothing to prove to anybody. I was already worthy.”