In this installment of Women to Know: Sports Edition MADAMENOIRE honors Nicky Nieves, a sitting volleyball Paralympian residing in Kissimmee, Florida. MN’s own managing editor Ida Harris big ups Nieves for the Sports Edition because of her bias in Nieves is a champion who hails from her hometown of Queens, New York but more importantly–she recognizes the importance of inclusivity:
“Limb difference matters. Black limb difference matters…And she’s out there killing the game in spite of that.”
Nieves, who was born without a left hand, has some amazing accomplishments under her belt. She was on the 2016 team that earned the U.S. their very first Paralympic gold medal in women’s sitting volleyball. She also won a gold medal at the 2019 American games and two silver medals from the 2014 and 2018 World Championships, respectively.
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For Nieves, it’s important to represent the Black Latina community. She wants to show great achievements (like her gold medal) are possible for women like her.
“I don’t like using the word disability,” says Nieves.
She says while paralympians deserve the same opportunity and resources as all athletes, “When people hear disability, they think of the negatives first like…’What can’t this person do? What do they need help doing?’” Nieves says, “I don’t like that because I can do whatever I want to do.”
Putting in the work the Nieves puts in as an athlete–there are no lies detected.