Afghan amputee swimmer aims for general success


KABUL It took a span of landmines that severed Malek Mohammad’s legs for him to find his life’s passion for swimming in land-locked Afghanistan.

He was 11 years aged when he stepped on a mines as he collected firewood in a empty lot in Kabul, a city still perplexing to redeem from years of polite war.

“When we mislaid my legs … we was in a terrible condition since we didn’t know about my destiny and we was feeling unequivocally bad,” Mohammad, now 24, told Reuters as he complacent after float use on a new morning in Kabul.

Faced with an capricious destiny in a nation where many fight victims face lifetimes of suffering, Mohammad’s life altered when a U.S. supervision central organised for him to accept treatment, earthy therapy, and preparation in a United States.

It was there that Mohammad initial schooled to swim, and put him on a lane to what he hopes will eventually be sporting excellence during a 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

“I wish to be comparison there to paint my country, since a amputee village are looking during me,” Mohammad said.

His dreams of competing in a Olympics have been dashed before, when he unsuccessful to make a cut for a summer games in London in 2012.

He hopes that a good display in a World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City in Sep will assistance him get tighten to his dream.

Nothing in Afghanistan is easy, however.

Mohammad says his focus to a Mexico games has been behind by opposing sum on his marker papers, a common problem in Afghanistan where many people, including Mohammad, don’t know their accurate birth date and other information.

The group members wish to follow 18-year-old Abbas Karimi, who recently competent for Mexico while vital and training in a United States.

The miss of resources for a world-class training programme creates it formidable for a members of a Afghan paralympic swimming group who don’t have entrance to general comforts and support.

Three members of a team, all with amputations from fight wounds, sight in tiny open pools with small supervision support.

They are coached by Mohammad Jawad, a maestro pike thrower, who volunteers his time to help.

“Malek is a gifted chairman and he has already competed in general competitions, though this time if he does his best efforts, God willing, we am certain he can grasp good things for his nation during a Olympic Games as well,” pronounced Jawad.


Like many Afghans, Mohammad has been held in a augmenting tellurian tensions as fighting sends hundreds and thousands fleeing.

His prosthetic legs have begun to wear after 8 years, and a hospital in a United States has offering to yield treatment.

Mohammad’s focus for an American visa was denied final year, however, with a State Department observant he had not valid that he would frankly lapse to Afghanistan.

He is operative to reapply for a visa, though with several high-profile cases of Afghans regulating visas to find haven in a West, it is not transparent that he will be means to get a diagnosis he needs.

No matter what happens, Mohammad says a pool has turn a comforting place, since in a H2O it does not matter that he mislaid his legs.

“Winning or losing a diversion is not critical for me since this is a honour for me that notwithstanding losing my legs we can float and feel myself loose in a water,” he said.

He has turn a teenager luminary in Afghanistan and internationally, proudly mentioning a time he met former U.S. boss George H.W. Bush.

Mohammad and his family still demonstrate warn during how his potentially life-ending damage altered his life.

“I was destroyed and crying,” pronounced his mother, Bibi Sabza Gul. “Imagine when we see your son remove dual legs and lonesome with blood.”

Now those terrible memories have faded, she said.

“I’m unequivocally happy saying my son improving day by day in his career. He is assisting his sisters and brothers and enlivening them in sports so we am not endangered about him anymore.”

(Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Robert Birsel)


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