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!

Pay attention to Ryan Lochte at the London Olympics

With the 2012 London Olympics right around the corner, what game and athlete are you most excited to see compete this summer? The very well-known names like LeBron JamesMichael Phelps and Usain Bolt are who we hear over and over again, but this summer, make sure to keep your eyes on our fellow American swimmer and a 6 time Olympic medalist, Ryan Lochte. Believe it or not, Lochte is expected to dethrone his teammate and rival, Michael Phelps this summer in London.

Lochte calls himself a ‘trouble-maker‘ who has had many injuries during his athletic career. He has suffered from a knee injury from break dancing, a fractured foot from skateboarding, a bruised knee from a scooter crash, as well as a sprained ankle while playing with his dog. But what made big news was a groin injury he got in July, 2010 that forced him to back off his training and a few IM meets he was already scheduled for (Woronoff, 2012).

That old Ryan Lochte, who has always finished second or third to Michael Phelps, is all gone. Four years ago, he completely changed his diet and broadened his training. He got a large attention from the media; the TV commercials and the magazine covers started featuring Lochte. Gillette Commercial is an example. Lochte cut his hair very short before the U.S. Olympic trials last month when Phelps arrived with a so-called, “dirty uncle mustache“. Lochte was clean-shaven as he was trying to get more attention from his female fans.

Lochte is a fun-loving, laid back swimmer with a unique fashion style, who just wants to go nuts twenty-four seven. However, the fact that Phelps acquired eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics fueled Lochte’s fire for competitions and he won six gold medals at the 2010 Pan-Pacific Championships, as well as four in 2009 and five at the 2011 World Championships.

He was able to change not only because he got bigger and faster, but also he got healthier.  His favorite food was McDonald’s and he was never serious about what he ate while training and competing. He can be such a big and good-looking swimmer, but he did not know how important it is to care about what he puts in his body. His Olympic Head swim coach, Gregg Troy totally changed his unhealthy behaviors. What made him even bigger and faster was Gatorade and proper nutrition while training.

Surprisingly, even Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman mentioned that “Michael’s breaststroke wasn’t bad…It’s obviously pretty good competition,” but “Lochte’s breaststroke is better”. “Lochte was the best swimmer in 2010,” Bowman continues.

At the interview with the NBC Olympics, Lochte says, “I could be having the worst day, but once I step foot in that pool everything just disappears. And I’m a very competitive athlete. I just love racing; I think that’s what keeps me going day to day in practice and going to swim meets”.

Lochte will have to win gold medals at the 200-meter backstroke and freestyle. This will help the U.S. team win medals at the 4×200 freestyle relay, where he will be paired with Phelps to compete.

Ryan Lochte, who will be turning 28 on August 3 during the Olympics, is more prepared for these Olympic meets than any other meet he has had before. Now, you know why you should pay extra attention to this world’s next swimming legend in a few weeks.

YouTube video: Ryan Lochte World Record: Win From Within

Follow Ryan Lochte on Twitter with a hashtag #Jeah!: @ryanlochte

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