Afghan landmine victim looks toward Tokyo Paralympics

Malek Mohammad lost his legs to a landmine when he was only 11 years old.

The explosion, which broke his body only strengthened his heart.

When he was 16 he started swimming. Now, the 25-year-old hopes to represent his country in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Mohammad works at a hotel to fund his program, which includes time at the gym and in the pool under the watchful eye of his coach.

He is training now for the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships, which take place in Mexico in September.

A victory there will advance him toward the Tokyo Games.

He wants to win; but not just for himself.

“I would like to become a popular person, a good hero, to help other amputee people, other mine victims, those who are like me,” said Mohammad.

If Malek Mohammad wins, so many other people would win as well.

Afghanistan is not a friendly environment for the differently abled. There is little specialized medical care, no rehab programs—not even wheelchair ramps.

Mohammad is a minor celebrity for what he has achieved despite his injuries.

He has hopes of doing much more.

“I hope I am selected there to represent my country, because others, I mean disabled people, the amputee community are looking on me and they are waiting to bring some good result for them, gold medal,” he said.

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