Boy with no arms can swim – level 3
14-year-old Abbas Karimi was born without arms but that hasn’t dampened his ambition to win a gold medal for swimming in the next Paralympics. If he gets the support he needs, he’ll be the first Afghan to represent his country as a swimmer.
“I urge the government to support me so I can participate in the world Paralympic Games. I would like to achieve a medal for my country. I also want to be a symbol for those who are disabled like me. My advice is that they should not be depressed about their disability.”
Decades of conflict and poverty have prevented a large number of disabled Afghans from pursuing sport. They are often unemployed and face discrimination but Abbas hasn’t hidden away. He’d learnt skills to overcome his problems and wants others to do the same.
“At first, I was suffering a lot from being armless. When I started swimming, I found myself capable to do everything well. I’m now hopeful in my life. By using my feet, I do all my work so I don’t have to really worry about anything.”
The next Paralympics takes place in Brazil in 2016.
Interesting words: dampen (make less strong), urge (strongly suggest), pursue (follow).
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