All Things Possible
All things are possible when we put our minds to it. Isn’t that what we are all taught from the time we are small children, especially if we play sports? When playing sports, this is usually the bottom line that most athletes believe in. If their minds are set to the right outlook, the right attitude, and the right motivation then they can achieve any goal and overcome any obstacle.
We hear it over and over again in press conferences, and we read it over and over again in articles: how an athlete achieved an amazing feat because they set their minds to it. Their accomplishments become inspiration for athletes everywhere, telling even the youngest athlete that they can achieve anything. It is all possible if you work hard enough and believe in yourself.
This is the exact mindset of Ibrahim Hamadto, an Egyptian table tennis player. There should not be anything unusual about my mentioning this athlete’s confidence in his own athletic ability, but there is something distinctive about him. Hamadto is a para-table tennis player who still competes nationally even though he does not have arms. A train accident when he was 10 caused him to lose both of his arms, and he began to train relentlessly and tirelessly for three years trying to find a perfect way to play the game he always loved.
His determination paid off when he made it to the World Team Table Tennis Championships, held in Tokyo, Japan, where he competed against numerous other professional athletes from all over the world. When Hamadto is asked over and over how he overcame the enormous odds against him, this is what he says:
"I believe that nothing is impossible, as long as you work hard."
Hamadto’s determination is representative of the adaptive sports community as a whole. Men and women surpassing expectations despite physical limitations are not exemplary but normative. In many cases, these athletes not only overcome their own physical limitations but do so in environments where adaptive sports and Paralympic organizations are not readily available or valued.
Sports has proven over and over again to be a tool that the Father continues to use to break down barriers between rich and poor, male and female, black and white and even able-bodied and disabled.
He came to create one family, one tribe, one people. A people with nothing in common other than the familiar refrain that “once we were broken and now we’re healed, once we we’re lost but now we’re found.”
“His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross...” Ephesians 2:15-16
G.A. Uttermost Summer Intern
Bubby Bryan Director of Mobilization
All Things Possible