Rio Paralympics is all about stories of athletes who have been training for years with their impaired bodies to compete at the highest level. Egyptian Ibrahim Hamadtou stands apart from other athletes, he is the only table tennis player to have lost both his hands. The only way Hamadtou swings his paddle is by holding it between his teeth and he is the only person to do so.
The phrase “Where there’s a will there’s a way” perfectly fits this Egyptian para-athlete. Hamadtou has shown that hardwork and determination can certainly take you to the top. The 43-year-old qualified for Rio 2016 by finishing second at the 2016 African Championships. Competing in Class 6 category, he lost to Great Britain’s David Wetherill 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, in the first round.
The Egyptian lost his arms in a train accident when he was 10-years-old. He uses his feet to serve and mouth as his hand to hit the ball. Despite all that, he is able to keep pace with his opponents, a sight that inspires many Table Tennis fans.
“I was trying first to use the bat under the arm, and I also tried using other things that weren't working so well,” Hamadtou was quoted as saying on the Rio Paralympics official website. “Finally, I tried using my mouth.
"I want to tell everybody that nothing is impossible, and everybody should work hard for what you love and what you think is good for yourself,” he said. “The disability is not in arms or legs, the disability is to not persevere in whatever you would like to do."
Hamadtou had already made name for himself after becoming an internet sensation. International Table Tennis Federation's YouTube channel posted a video on him, where he is seen practising his shots. The "Nothing is Impossible" video was posted on the channel two years ago and had received 2,897,857 views. The video takes us through his journey, which is inspiring. He shared his passion and love for the sport on this video.
Watch: Ibrahim Hamato - Nothing is Impossible video
The "Nothing is Impossible" legend can be described as a player who is one of a kind.