Warning Our website is currently configured to place cookies on your computer. For more information about cookies and how to disable cookies, see our cookie policy Hide this message in future

ITN Logo

ITN Logo

Olympic dream of armless Afghan teen

Report by Sarah Johnston, Video by Sarah Johnston

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 the teenager will be the first Afghan to represent his county as a swimmer in the next games, due to take place in Brazil in 2014.

"I urge people to support me so I can participate in world Paralympics 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," said Karimi during a break from a training session in the pool.

Decades of conflict, poverty and neglect have prevented a large number of disabled Afghans from pursuing sport.

They are often unemployed, face victimisation and discrimination in a society where disability is perceived as a weakness.

Karimi is also learning English at the Star Educational Society in Kabul.

Abbas, whose father sells cars in Kabul, comes from a large family. He has five brothers and five sisters but he is the only one to be born with a disability.

As a child he says he was supported by his parents but as he has become more confident in his own abilities, his philosophy - if you want something you can get it - appears to be paying dividends.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Top Stories