Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Disabled Singaporeans To Run In Beijing Marathon

Extracted from Channel News Asia report, I am deeply humbled by these two Singaporeans in their resolute to run a full marathon despite one without an arm and the other a leg. Please find their inspiring story below.

SINGAPORE : Running a marathon remains a dream for many, but two disabled Singaporeans will live their dreams in the Beijing marathon this October.

Even though MD Shariff Abdullah runs with a prosthetic limb, while Adam Khamis runs without his right arm, they are able to compete against their able—bodied counterparts.

This was the result of determination and training.

31—year—old Khamis lost his right arm in a traffic accident seven years ago.

"I used to be an outgoing person. I was into bodybuilding, train five to six times in a week, and I used to be into soccer, rock—climbing... So when your life turns 180 degrees, things started to slow down. To get back on my feet — to start running — it took me a few years," said Khamis.

Today, he runs because he wants to raise awareness for disability sports.

Khamis said: "After my accident, I was not introduced to all this. So I thought maybe I have to do my part, to tell people that there’s such a thing as disability sports, where disabled athletes try to achieve their dreams.

"We’re different physically, but we are still able to do something, to achieve something in life."

Sharing his passion for running is 44—year—old Shariff, who was born without a left foot.

Two years ago, his doctor advised him to amputate five inches of the stump when he felt pain in the area.

Shariff said: "After my leg was amputated in 2008, I decided to run marathons because this is one of my dreams. I was inspired by this guy — Oscar Pistorius — he’s a world double—amputee runner. And from there I saw him, if he can do it, why not me. As a Singaporean, I can do it.

Both Khamis and Shariff will be heading to Beijing this October.

Their trip will be funded by the North East Special Talent Fund, which is set up to encourage those with disabilities to pursue their dreams.

"I want amputees in Singapore to come and join in disabled sports. Focus on yourself, believe in yourself, and it’s not over until you win — this is what you have to believe," said Shariff.

And Shariff already has his next goal set — he’s aiming for Mount Everest in 2015. — CNA /ls

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