Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Iraqi Paralympics Team

Sometimes, complaining is easier than working toward achieving our goals. The Iraqi Paralympics team does the opposite. Its members are determined to overcome their daily hardships to make it to the 2008 Paralympics Games.

Unlike their American or European peers, the Iraqi Paralympics team doesn't have state-of-the-art equipment and training facilities as The New York Times reports:

Working out in sweaty gyms in hardscrabble neighborhoods, with creaky wheelchairs and hand-me-down gear, the Iraqi Paralympic team of 2008 is wrapping up what is surely one of the most trying training seasons.

The coach of the wheelchair basketball team, Ibrahim Abdullah, a basketball player who did not use a wheelchair, was fatally shot in the head during a firefight. He was 6-foot-6. Players said his head had been visible over a wall as the shooting started.

And a blind athlete, Qasim Muttar, who was a promising player of goalball — soccer played with a ball that contains bells — died after being run over by an American convoy while crossing a street.

I'm very proud of the Iraqi Paralympics team. Not only because I'm originally from Iraq, but because people who can make it through bad times always inspire me.

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