[Bosnia and Herzegovina] Disabled boy beats odds to become swimming champion

09 Jun 2017
ABC News

A six year old Bosnian boy has recently captured international attention by overcoming defying physical obstacles on a whole new other level.

According to ABC News, Ismail Zulfic, a child born without arms and a disfigured foot, had recently won a gold medal at a regional swimming championship for disabled swimmers.

The swimming champion trains at Spid, which was founded by Amel Kapo, a sports graduate who initiated free swimming instructions for children with disabilities at a local pool in Sarajevo. These instructions are the only one of its kind in the entire country, and had operated without any aid until receiving donations and assistance from global organizations and local businesses. Attention for Spid had reached insofar to the state of New York, where the Swim Strong Foundation's founder, Shawn Slevin, went to Sarajevo to instruct approximately 50 disabled youth from across the country. 

Zulfic's story is not only significant in the world of sports but also for all disabled youth. In Bosnia, 6.5% of children ranging from the ages of two to nine years old, are physically disabled in some way. Despite this significant figure, Bosnia's accessibility practices do not fulfill its demand, as ramps, support bars, and adaptable furniture are not overly common in Bosnia's public sphere. 

Although he knows obstacles will soon front him in the upcoming school year, Ismail's gold medal win had allowed him to prove to himself that he can overcome anything. With this attitude, Ismail is currently preparing to compete in the World Para-swimming championship in Germany this year.

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