Abu Ali won Silver Medal in Berlin – Egypt Today
Cairo - 18 July 2017: Eslam Abu Ali, an Egyptian Paralympic swimmer who made great achievements for his country on an international scale, represented Egypt in many competitions and won many medals. Behind that success, there is a story to tell.
It was a regular day for the businessman when he had an accident that changed his destiny forever. He had the willpower to transform his suffering into success.
“I was 23 years old when a car accident paralyzed me in January 2012; I became a wheelchair user since that time. After spending around a year in the hospital, I decided to move on and figure out a way to resume my life in a different way using my wheelchair,” Abu Ali told Egypt Today.
Abu Ali continued, “One day I was walking with my friend alongside the swimming pool, and he was joking about throwing me in it; at this point I realized I couldn’t swim, so I started learning how to swim.”
Abu Ali has always had a great passion for sports. He describes himself a “sportaholic.” He played different sports when he was young, like basketball, running, rowing and football. He also joined the volleyball team at the Shooting Club in Cairo for eight years, but he stopped after getting his bachelor’s degree.
Abu Ali spoke about his start in swimming after the accident, saying, “I started competing in local competitions. I won many of them, so I wanted to join the national [Paralympic] team, but I found that Egypt didn’t have one.”
Abu Ali had a long journey to form a national team. He contacted officials in charge of Paralympic sports but he did not get an answer.
The champion was lucky enough to reach the former Egyptian President Adly Mansour, who delivered his demands to the minister of sports and youth.
“I convinced the minister to establish the para-swimming team,” Abu Ali told Egypt Today.
Abu Ali talked about his achievements in Paralympic swimming, saying, “my biggest achievement was in Madrid in 2015, as I had won a couple of bronze medals and qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, but I missed the competition due to a shoulder injury.”
Abu Ali’s injury did not stop him, though, as he recovered and participated in IDM Schwimmen 2017 in Berlin.
The swimmer won a silver medal and achieved a new record in the 100-meter breaststroke and 50-meter breaststroke finals.
Abu Ali told Egypt Today, “I am ready now to participate in the World Championships in Mexico.”
It is not easy to convert one’s suffering to success, but as Abu Ali said after the competition, “Once a will exists, there will be a way… You will always have a way.”