Paralympic Athletes Are The True Definition of Athletes – featuring Khamis Zaqout and Paul Callahan

The London 2012 Olympics had plenty of unforgettable moments. Michael Phelp has officially become the most decorated Olympian of all time, as well as the U.S.A. teams have won the most gold medals, silver medals and total medals (london2012.com).  Now, the Olympics are all over and the summer is also about to be over, but we can’t forget about the London 2012 Paralympics! The Paralympic games take place from August 29 to September 9. The athletes will be competing in sports which many people can never imagine the athletes with disabilities would be able to play such as Swimming, Powerlifting, and Football.

David Weir, British GoalBall T54 1500m racer. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

This year, the Paralympic organizers are very enthusiastic about making the Games what nobody has ever seen. According to Ros Dumlao, a writer of DenverPost.com, “the United States Olympic Committee announced it will provide its own broadcast and online coverage of the Games, focusing on the U.S. Paralympic Team” (Dumlao, 2012). American viewers are expected to watch the Paralympic Games more than ever.

As they have already been known to have the potential to win the medals at the London Paralympics, athletes such as David WeirSarah Storey, Khamis ZaqoutJonnie Peacock and Lee Pearson have been widely featured by the media. Wheelchair-bound Khamis Zaqout from Gaza will be competing in the shot put, discus and javelin. Zaqout mentions, “We have crawled to the Paralympics. I have achieved an Asian record with the simple means that we have.” Ala Shataly, a Palestinian Paralympic Committee member, is, especially, rooting for Zaqout for this year’s Paralympics and says with confidence that “Zaqout is definitely going to win a medal, “We have always been competitive at the Paralympics where we strive for achievements and we have reached a stage where we cannot go backwards.”

Paul Callahan, a quadriplegic Paralympic Sailor and CEO of Sail to Prevail, slipped on a wet floor and hit his head and shoulder on a hard surface, breaking his neck in the process when he attended Harvard University. He was only 21 then and now he is 56. Callahan has also left some inspiring and enthusiastic messages before his Paralympic competitions. “First, you have to have the will to win and then you have to have the will to share that victory and those wins,” Callahan said. “It’s important to do that by leveraging your victory and your journey to other disabled people. It helps you manufacture time” (NECN.com).

Those athletes with disabilities might have lost some of their physical abilities, but they still possess the strong young power. The Paralympics officially start in two weeks. DON’T MISS IT!

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