Antonio Flores: 'I want to create a legacy – I want to challenge the status quo in Malta'

Paralympian Antonio Flores, 29, is Malta’s first blade runner. Through the project named #AntonioTokyo2020, Flores hopes to represent Malta again in the Paralympics, having already made history in 2008 by competing in the Beijing Paralympics alongside other high-calibre Paralympians such as Oscar Pistorius

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I always reach for my phone and glasses.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Live life as if you are walking through a jungle. Sometimes you have to be willing to cut a few vines if they are in your way.  

What do you never leave the house without?

My mobile phone.

Pick three words that describe yourself.

Tenacious, motivated and worrisome.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Competing in the Beijing Paralympics against all odds. The situation was breath-taking. It was amazing to see so many athletes with different abilities living and competing together without any limitation – though I will admit it was a bit scary when it came to race day.   

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Being lazy when I am not training

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That nothing is owed to us.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My running brace.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere.

Who’s your inspiration?

I am more inspired by acts rather than by particular individuals.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Getting surgeons on-board to have my amputation.

If you weren’t an athlete, what would you be doing?  

Eating a lot more, and not having to watch my weight.

Do you believe in God?  

I am agnostic.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Akira Toriyama as he is my favourite amine creator, and I have much respect for him.

What’s your worst habit?

I’m a bit disorganised.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Happy.

Who would you have play you in a film?

My film will probably be animated.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People who are always making excuses.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Probably a Dragonball theme.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My running blade.

What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory was going to London with my parents in 1993 – I don’t remember much of that trip but I do remember going to the London Zoo.

When did you last cry, and why?

I don’t remember.  

Who would you most like to meet?

Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragonball.

What’s your favourite food?

Its between Pizza, Burgers, or Chinese food.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

No one specifically.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I’d go to the future – a distant future because I’d like to see how things have progressed epically in the fields of medicine and science.  

What book are you reading right now?

Nothing at the moment.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Super speed.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

I want to create a legacy – I want to challenge the status quo in Malta. Here on the island amputees aren’t common in sport. I want to show people that you can achieve anything, even things you didn’t think were possible if your motivated enough.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Mostly metal and anime songs.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?  

Again… metal and anime.

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