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Maria Riquet – Can’t, not spoken here

by Don

The following is a brief profile of one of the 50 interviewees. The full interview and insights will be released in the upcoming book.
Maria in 2003, shortly after her accident

Maria in 2003, shortly after her accident

Maria four years later living strong

Maria four years later living strong

Maria Riquet is a 57 year old body builder who is originally from Brazil, and who came to the United States to get a college education. Maria used to dance ballet and play tennis when she was young and living in Brazil. When she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico she took up running, and ran for many years, although not competitively. Maria was motivated to stay in shape and look good, so when she was raising her children, would run early in the morning before her husband would leave for work. When her kids got older, Maria discovered cycling, and went on to be a competitive master’s cyclist, winning Florida state championships in the road race, criterium, and time trial events.

In 2003, Maria had a horrific cycling accident, when the driver of a car hit the group she was cycling with head on. This accident left Maria fighting for her life, with many broken bones. One of the most debilitating was her broken tibia, which was left in 30 pieces.

Having been inspired by a body building show on ESPN that she used to watch while raising her sons, Maria visualized about body building, from her hospital bed. While the doctors were telling her that she would never be able to do hard work with her legs, Maria was visualizing strengthening and honing her body to that of a body builder.

Three years after the accident, Maria competed in her first body building competition and placed fourth. A year later, Maria won that same competition.

Maria works out with a bunch of very strong male body builders, who refer to her as The Beast, because of how hard she works out. I’ll bet the doctors who put Maria back together would be shocked to see her leg press 690 pounds.


Thanks to those who have joined the 50,000 Athlete Challenge! Last Saturday, we were at 0, and this morning we have 6 Foot Soldiers and 5 athletes taking the challenge. This is from the athletes I interviewed and my own personal network. So the assignment for the athletes who signed up is to clarify and write down your goals, and spread the word. For us foot soldiers, the assignment is to help others get started or stay at it, as well as getting people signed up.


This band of 11 people will change many lives, and I encourage all of us to add comments either on the 50,000 Athletes Challenge group page in Facebook, or on this site.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Neuza Buerkle July 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Maria is a good friend of mine,I am a godmother to one of her twin boys…She has been an inspiration to many people,all power to her…God bless her and that she will continue inspiring many more people after suffering that awfull accident, way to go comadre!!!!

Barbie December 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

Maria is a very dear friend!
She has the kindest heart and touches your soul with her beautiful smile! She certainly is an inspiration to all who meet her or hear of her story! Maria’s endless enthusiasm & determination comes from her well balenced soul, God has blessed her with these new talents and gifts. Maria does not look back on what has happened in her life but looks forward to the new opportunities and the doors that have opened for her.
She is a treasure of a friend, a caring & wonderful unforgettable person!
Luv Barbie

Ann Burdsal December 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

Maria is a wonderful woman. I have had the priviledge of working with her for the past 3 years. I have seen how hard she works and dedicated she is to what she is doing. Good luck Maria!


Clifford Wells December 7, 2009 at 9:59 am

Maria is one of those amazing people that you only get to meet a few times in your life. What an incredible, sweet person.
Love, Cliff

Holly Hall December 9, 2009 at 5:30 am

I cannot began to tell yo what an inspiration Maria has been to me in my life. I actually call her my angel because she is always there to help you whenever you need someone Maria and I have been friends for years and I often think of her braveness throughout her life. Anyone who meets Maria never forgets her!!

Holly Hall December 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I hope that Maria wins this contest!! She so deserves it. She is full of compassion and courage. She has been a true friend. Always there at any time. I always refer to her as my guardian angel. God Bless and good luck Maria!!!


Judy Armstron-lipton December 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Maria is an inspiration. It is hard to believe she has been through such physical challange. Not only has she overcome physically, she is so sweet and kind.
I am fortunate to have met her.

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