Paralympians Inspire Us All

Paralympics — An Event To Remember

The Rio Paralympic Games were held from September 7 thru September 18,2016 in Rio. Some 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries competed in 528 medal events in 22 different sports. Great competition? Yes. Amazing feats? You betcha! Inspirational? Without a doubt. Watch the videos on this page to capture some of that inspiration.

Paralympian Ping Pong Player Ibrahim Hamato

Nothing is Impossible. Watch this video.

Hamato grew up in Egypt playing soccer and table tennis. Involved in serious train accident at 10 years old, he lost both of his arms. Playing soccer after the accident made him realize that he could get seriously hurt if he fell with no arms to protect his head. Hamato revisited table tennis.

At first, he attempted holding the paddle under his arm, but he found he didn’t have enough control. He shifted to holding the paddle in his mouth. Hamato can hit all of the table tennis basics like blocks, drives, lobs. Check out his service technique as he tosses the ball with his foot. Amazing! He tilts his head to generate power for an attacking shot and applies side spin to shots.

No one can remember any player using this technique to play. Hamato has hit with top notch players who are stunned at his level of play.

Table Tennis at a Very High Level

“He played really, really good,” notes Jun Mizutani, the number 1 table tennis player in Japan, “I can’t believe he plays with his mouth, I have never seen something like this before!”

Hamato, the father of three children, was the viral YouTube sensation of the Rio Paralympics Games.

“The disability is not in arms or legs, the disability is to not persevere in whatever you would like to do,” notes Hamato.

Paralympians Inspire Us All – Day 9 Highlights

History of the Paralympics

The word “Paralympic” combines the Greek word “para”  meaning alongside or beside, and the word “Olympic.” The Paralympics are the parallel Games to the Olympics for those individuals with impairments. The first Paralympics were held in Rome, Italy in 1960. The Paralympics are typically held immediately following the Olympic Games. Like the Olympics, there are winter and summer competitions every 4 years in the same city as the Olympics when possible.

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