The 5 most inspirational stories from the Tokyo Paralympics
They came, saw and conquered the sporting world with their heart rending stories driven by perseverance and passion to inspire others
For some it was a simple flight from their country to Tokyo. Others had to be evacuated to compete and arrive just in time. The world stood together to help these athletes achieve what they had worked for all their life. We take a look at 5 inspirational stories from the Paralympics in no particular order.
They almost never made it. The world was watching on intently for Afghanistan to make its Paralympic debut and when they finally arrived, it was like a medal winning moment itself. Zakai Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli were the two athletes who were heading to Tokyo this year. They somehow made it out through a top secret evacuation for them and were granted visas to compete. They came, took part, did not speak to the media and did the best they could. This in itself was a moment to cherish for the sporting world who had given up hope of ever seeing them once the Taliban took over.
Running, swimming and cycling in a triathlon is tough in itself. Doing it with a partner attached to you is feat that several athletes accomplished at the Paralympics. Brad Snyder is one of them and he has been consistently winning Gold for the past three editions of the Paralympics despite being a visually impaired competitor. The former Marine lost his eyesight in a mine blast in Afghanistan back in 2011. He was at London 2012 the very next year to compete in the swimming event and won gold in two events. He continued this trend at Rio and finally at Tokyo, won Gold at the Paratriathlon.
Yusra Mardini, Ahmad Wais, Kimia Alizadeh, Masomah Ali Zadah, Cyrille Tchatchet II, Abdullah Sediqi,Anjelina Lohalith, Aker Al Obaidi, Popole Misenga, Sanda Aldass,Paulo Lokoro, Dorian Keletela and Jamal Mohammed Jama. The names of all the athletes who made up the refugee team this year. Fleeing countries to competing in the worlds biggest Para sports event, they have seen and done it all.
Have you ever played table tennis at a professional or amateur level? If you have then that is really great. But have you ever played table tennis at a professional/amateur level with no arms to hold the racket? The answer is no. Ibrahim Hamadtou however can answer in the affirmative. He has done the unthinkable by playing TT with his mouth. It is simply brilliant to watch him and how he navigates the unthinkable by setting a precedent for all of us to follow in our daily lives.
The Paralympics is about way more than just winning and losing. It is about displaying perseverance and passion to do the unthinkable.
14 years of age. Let that sink in as you read about the youngest athlete at the Tokyo Paralympic games. It takes years for athletes to compete at the Paralympics but for 14 year old Husnak from Uganda, she wanted to set a benchmark for all other para-athletes from her country and Africa especially. She might not have won her medal but her goal at the Paralympics was to inspire, and that is exactly what she did.