- Title: From fear of water to gold, Bosnian armless swimmer beats odds
- Date: 19th May 2017
- Summary: SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (MAY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) INTERIOR OF SWIMMING POOL SWIMMERS IN WATER GROUP OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WARMING UP WITH THEIR INSTRUCTORS ISMAIL ZULFIC PRACTISING WITH OTHER CHILDREN ISMAIL WARMING UP INSTRUCTOR AND CHILDREN PRACTISING ISMAIL WARMING UP AMEL KAPO, FOUNDER OF 'SPID' SWIMMING CLUB SITTING AND TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Bosnian) FOUNDER OF SWIMMING CLUB FOR DISABLED CHILDREN, AMEL KAPO, SAYING: "They (children with disabilities) may seem a bit clumsy outside of the water but once they get into the water they make the best use of that opportunity and achieve something which might have seemed impossible." ISMAIL PREPARING TO JUMP IN WATER ISMAIL JUMPING INTO WATER VARIOUS OF ISMAIL SWIMMING ISMAIL REACHING END OF POOL PARENTS WATCHING THEIR CHILDREN SWIMMING ISMAIL'S FATHER AND SISTER (SOUNDBITE) (Bosnian) ISMAIL'S FATHER ISMET ZULFIC TALKING ABOUT SWIMMING COMPETITION IN ZAGREB WHEN HIS SON WON GOLDEN MEDAL: "That feeling cannot be described by words, you have to experience it. It was very emotional, there were tears, my wife, I and his (Ismail's) swimming instructors couldn't resist crying." CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES ISMAIL WITH OTHER CHILDREN PLAYING WITH WATER CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES SITTING BY SWIMMING POOL
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2017 16:24
- Keywords: competition disabled children boy swimming
- Location: SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
- City: SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
- Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HI9NAX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Six-year-old Bosnian Ismail Zulfic was born without arms and with a foot deformity but with a courage and determination that won him gold at a regional swimming competition for disabled children this month in neighbouring Croatia.
Ismail's family lives in the central town of Zenica and his parents drive him twice a week to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, 70 km. (43.5 miles) in the south, for swimming classes, a big investment of time and money for the cash-strapped family.
They never dreamed their shy boy, who had developed a fear of water after an incident in a rubber pool, would ever become a swimmer after they hardly persuaded him into swimming classes for psycho-therapeutic reasons, let alone a gold medallist.
They hoped the water would relieve pressure on the back he constantly bends to eat, write and use joystick or fit his swimming goggles with his feet.
Amel Kapo, who more than a year ago founded the Spid swimming club for disabled children after he had noticed that many of them come to swimming pool without professional supervision, helped Ismail learn to swim.
"They (children with disabilities) may seem a bit clumsy outside of the water but once they get into the water they make the best use of that opportunity and achieve something which might have seemed impossible," Kapo said.
A year later Ismail powered to the finish of the 50 metre back-stroke, well ahead of rivals, some nearly double his age at the regional competition in Zagreb.
Kapo said his club had no ambition but to give the children the taste of a competition but Ismail and five other Spid members won six gold and two silver medals.
The trips to classes are a costly burden for Ismail's father Ismet, a steel factory worker, and his unemployed mother. But he says that no money could pay the pride and tears of happiness their son gave them by competing with other children.
"That feeling cannot be described by words, you have to experience it. It was very emotional, there were tears, my wife, I and his (Ismail's) swimming instructors couldn't resist crying," he said.
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