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Young Boy Born Without Arms Becomes A Swimming Champion

A six-year-old Bosnian boy born without arms and with a deformed foot has beaten the odds to become a swimming champion.  Ismail Zulfic’s parents and an inspirational sports instructor have helped him overcome his physical limitations – and a fear of water – to win a gold medal at a regional competition for disabled swimmers.

Amel Kapo, a sports graduate, launched the free swimming classes for children with disabilities at a Sarajevo pool without any state support.

‘My goal was to bring children with disabilities into the open,’ Kapo said. ‘Yes, their bodies might be different but if you give them an opportunity to prove themselves they know how to take it and use it.’

The club which Kapo founded, remains the only swimming club for children with disabilities in Bosnia.

Zulfic’s parents can hardly afford to drive their son to swimming lessons twice a week from their hometown of Zenica, 44 miles north of Sarajevo.

But Spid has been helping cover the cost of fuel and some of the swimming gear with donations they secured from a supportive local company and international aid groups.

Kapo’s efforts got the attention of the Swim Strong Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit group, whose founder Shawn Slevin traveled to Sarajevo to help coach some 50 disabled children from across Bosnia who had joined up over the past year.

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