AGE 43 | Egypt
Captain Ibrahim is a world renowned Table Tennis athlete making his claim to fame when he competed on the world stage at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up, where did you see yourself when you were younger and where you see yourself in the future?
I was born and grew up in “Kafr Sayed AlBalad” in Doumyat District, when I was young. When I started to practice sports, I only had one thing on my mind and that was to reach the Olympics.
When did you start playing sports?
I started to participate in sports in 1986, three years after the accident I had. At that time I had nothing to fill my time up with in that initial period after the accident, which is why I was drawn to sports.
"Sports changed my life completely. It made me a different person. The accident was a turning point of my life."
Why did you want to start playing sports?
In “Kafr Saad” where I used to live there were only two kind of sports: table tennis and football. I practiced football for sometime and I faced some issues because I was falling down a lot because of the accident, so I then decided to focus my attention on table tennis which, I liked a lot.
What was your biggest challenge to get into the sport?
The biggest challenge was when a person told me “You will not be able to get into sports”.
How did you overcome that challenge?
I was practicing every night for a hour in order to be able to compete and win and this is exactly what happened.
How has your participation in the sport affected you as a person?
Sports changed my life completely. It made me a different person. The accident was a turning point of my life. It helped me go from being a normal person into a global figure. It also helped to accept positive comments as well as negatives, and then learn to respect both.
If there was one thing you could change in the sport or people’s perception what would it be?
A long time ago, the way society looked down on me was rough. People in society would always look down on me and feel sorry for me, this was very hard for me to accept. So the idea of having my racket with me and travelling around to compete, changed the way that society viewed me. I would like people to understand that we are equal, that is why I liked the idea of the campaign showing the disabled athlete coaching a non-disabled one. I always believe “Nothing is impossible”. This is what I would like people to understand.
"I would like people to understand that we are equal, that is why I liked the idea of the campaign showing the disabled athlete coaching a non-disabled one."