Diputació de Girona
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Albert Llovera

Elite sportsman

Albert Llovera

Currently competing in rally driving in the World Championship, the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship, the Rallycross World Championship and the Dakar Rally. He has collaborated with NASA. As an orthopaedist and graphic engineer he works on designing devices for adapting to driving. He has an orthopaedic supplies shop.

His beginnings as an elite sportsman were in the world of skiing. At the age of 17 he competed in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. A year later, in 1985, while competing in the European Skiing Cup, he suffered a serious accident that caused a spinal cord injury and left him paraplegic. Shortly afterwards he moved to the United States, where he competed in a Paralympic basketball team that were world championship runners-up.

In 1987, he made the move to motor racing. He took part in quad competitions and later in the Catalonia Speed Championship. In 2001, he moved to rallies, driving for Fiat, and competed in the Spanish Rally Championship, both tarmac and  gravel, and in the World Championship, thus becoming the first competitive rally driver with a disability. In 2010, he returned to the World Championship driving a Fiat Punto Abarth S2000, an adapted vehicle with which he could control all the functions with his hands. After two years competing in the World Rally Championship, he returned to Spain, and after a couple of years began to compete in the Dakar Rally. In 2014 and 2015 he competed in the Dakar with the French Buggy team, and in 2016 and 2017 he was signed to the Czech manufacturer Tatra and competed in the Dakar in a truck. Another challenge in which he achieved a good ranking: Number 24 in the general classification.

His experience of overcoming personal challenges is recorded in the documentary The Wings of the Phoenix, directed by José María Borrell, which premiered in 2005, and in the book No Limits, which he self-published in collaboration with Jordi Cantavella in 2011.