My name is Mark-Anthony Sanchez I am a Navy veteran and a full time graduate student studying kinesiology and exercise science, I am also a competitive cyclist. I am the pilot and captain of a two rider tandem team that is hoping to compete in the USA Cycling Para Road National championships at the end of June. We are hoping to also qualify for the Pan American Games at Nationals.
My friend and stoker (the blind athlete on the back seat of the tandem bike), Anthony Bonetti suffers from a condition called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, which is an eye condition that damages the retina. This means that he has zero vision in both eyes and uses a walking stick to move around.
Anthony and I met at the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes talent identification camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center where we were paired together. We quickly became friends and learned to trust each other on the bicycle. We borrowed one of the Team USA bikes that is stored in Colorado Springs at the Velodrome.
Anthony is an extremely positive person and he has been an athlete his entire life. He started attending the Tennessee School for the Blind in 2015, and began tandem cycling. He fell in love with the sport. Anthony is currently also a full time student where he is studying to be a counselor and a preacher. His athletic goals are to compete in the U.S. National Championships, the Pan American Games and to represent the United States in the Para Olympics.
Anthony and I currently live on opposite sides of the country and we train separately most of the time. He uses a stationary spin bike at his schools gym to train as he does not have a bike of his own. As both of us are full time students and athletes we do not have much money.
Our goal is to raise enough money to pay for travel, lodging, food, and a tandem bicycle for Nationals. Additionally we are hoping to raise enough money for a single person bicycle for Anthony that fits hime to use on a home trainer in his dorm.