MADRID police successfully returned a stolen bike, belonging to Spanish Paralympic athlete Gema Hassen-Bey.
The specially designed bike was custom built in Poland for the fifty-year-old, medal-winning paralympian, who represented Spain in fencing, at five successive Paralympics after making her debut at Barcelona in 1992.
She had appeared at the Madrid World Pride celebrations, in the Race For Diversity event, organised to celebrate the diverse nature of the LGBT community.
She was devastated when the 15,000 euro bike disappeared from a locked and bolted trailer, as it is a prototype she had custom built for her next project.
Hassen-Bey is in training to become the first person to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the African continent’s highest mountain, using a bike.
A feat during which, she hopes to draw attention to the challenges facing people living with disabilities.
“I cannot understand how a man can reach the moon or throw himself from a space capsule, but we still have trouble going to buy bread” she said.
The athlete denounced the theft of her bicycle and, through messages on Twitter and Facebook and asked that it be returned to Father Angel, of the Messengers of Peace, in the church of San Anton in the capital.
However, Madrid police found the bike, abandoned on a street corner, undamaged, apart from a broken chain, which probably curtailed the thieves progress, at 3am on Sunday morning during the height of the huge pride closing party.
The officers duly delivered the bike to Father Angel of the Messengers of Peace later that morning at 10am and returned it to its waiting, extremely grateful, owner who can now continue her Bey – Kilimanjaro Challenge summit challenge.