This is the story of a true Olympic spirit, who crowdfounded his Olympic experience and trained like a maniac to attend the Games in Rio 2016.
Mohamed al-Khatib is a Palestinian 25-year-old fitness and yoga instructor.
He’s always had one dream – attending an edition of the Olympic Games, especially the Rio 2016 one. His goal, as a sprinter, was to take part of the 100m and 200m athletics races.
Since his country forbids him the access to track and field arenas, he decided to leave his homeland and move to the United States. This way, he would have the chance to train, and chase the Olympic minimum time or an Olympic wild card.
Mohamed needed about $10,000, though, to pay for a coach and a physiotherapist. He brilliantly thought of sorting out a crowdfunding campaign to support his Olympic dream.
Mohamed wasn’t discouraged at all about his lack of money, as life has always challenged him. In fact, he was grew up in Hebron, one of the cities where the fights between Israel and Palestine have always gotten very cruel and rough during the years. The second Intifada stroke back there in Hebron, when Mohamed was only ten.
Eventually Mohamed managed to leave the country at 18, and moved to the US with a student visa. There he started to practice sport. Whilst watching the London 2012 Olympics, something triggered him. He made a promise to himself to do his best to attend Rio 2016 Olympic Games, no matter what it would cost. He focused on his training, and worked very hard every single day ever since. His determination and motivation is what we think it’s the real Olympic spirit. That’s what he said about this:
“Making it to the Olympics is more than just a personal goal, but a mandate I feel for my life and the Palestinian people.”
Unfortunately, Mohamed didn’t make to Rio 2016, but he’s not done with the Games. His Olympic spirit fires too much to die. On his Facebook page he’s already stated that he’s working to attend Tokyo 2020.