See the Egyptian Table Tennis Player Who Stole the Show at the Paralympics
Sports| | By Margo Gothelf
Meet Ibrahim Hamato, one of the stand-out stars from the 2016 Paralympics.
Hamato, a table tennis player from Egypt, lost both of his arms in a terrible accident when he was just 10 years old. Regardless of his handicap, Hamato still managed to become a star athlete on the international stage.
Hamato figured out a way to become one of the top table tennis players by using his other body parts to play the game. He uses his toes to pick up the balls and to serve, while keeping the paddle in his mouth to continue the rallies.
"Nada é impossível quando se trabalha duro" Ibrahim Hamadtou, atleta do #EGY – #TênisDeMesa . "Nothing is impossible when you work hard" – Ibrahim Hamadtou, athlete from #EGY #TableTennis . "Nada es imposible cuando trabajas duro" Ibrahim Hamadtou, atleta de Egipto.
A video posted by Rio 2016 (@rio2016) on
During his debut at the Paralympics in Rio this year, Hamato lost all of his matches. However, his fellow table tennis competitors still consider Hamato to be somewhat of a legend.
“He’s a legend in table tennis,” Great Britain’s David Wetherill, who beat Hamato in his opening match, shared. “I was feeling the pressure, a bit jittery. [Then] you see people like Ibrahim and you can’t possibly feel nervous: he puts things in perspective — the things he can do.”
Hamato first grabbed the attention of the internet after a video of him playing table tennis went viral in 2014. Since being posted the video has been viewed over 2 million times (as of press).
“My best achievement in life is divided in two parts,” Hamato shared in the video (above). “The best thing in my life is my wife, who is everything to me. The second part is table tennis, where I find my biggest success being able to enjoy every point I win.”
Even though Hamato didn’t make it far in the Paralympics, he still displayed a high level of sportsmanship, which makes him the true winner regardless of the outcome.
“Not all defeats are defeats; sometimes you lose but you actually win because you have added to your experience, you have added to your knowledge; today I added to my knowledge.”