The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose 27-years-old Ibrahim Al-Hussein from Deir Ezzor province, who has been given asylum in Greece, to carry the Olympic flame through Eleonas refugee camp in Athens on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Al-Hussein’s right leg below the knee was amputated in a 2012 Assad-regime indiscrimnatory bombing on Al-Omal district of Deir Ezzor city.
He worked as an electrician in Deir Ezzor, partook in judo and basketball competitions in Syria; and he is still a professional swimmer despite all what he has gone through. Now he teaches himself to walk again by depending on a prosthetic leg; and play basketball by a wheelchair.
Despite losing one of his leg and relying on a prosthetic one, Al-Hussein still have talent and can score 28 seconds in 50-meters swimming pool; three seconds off his personal best before the injury. He also intends to take part in an upcoming swimming championship for people with disabilities to be held in Greece on July.
Al-Hussein said in an interview with certain news agencies, “It is my honor to hold the torch, it’s truly an honor.”
He added, “”I am carrying the flame for myself, but also for Syrians, for refugees everywhere, for Greece, for sports, for my swimming and basketball teams. My goal is to never give up. but, to go on, to always go forward. And that I can achieve through sports.”
The ceremony of lighting the Olympic flame took place at the Temple of Hera, which dates back to 2600 years ago, last week.
On Wednesday the flame will be handed over to Brazilian officials in a ceremony arranged at the historic Olympic stadium in Athens, which witnessed and hosted the first Olympic games in the modern era in 1896.