Somalia’s Sons once again shine in Rio. This week, three Somalis will be among the athletes competing in Rio’s 2016 Paralympics. These young men have incredible stories of their own. Each fled Somalia and each had many obstacles to overcome, but their hard work, patience, and resilience has brought them to the world stage. They will represent Somalia, Great Britain, and Canada.
Abdi Dini – Canada
Originally from Somalia, Abdi Fatah Dini is truly an outstanding athlete whose qualities of fair play and dedication to sport excellence are exemplified in everything he does.
Abdi Fatah Dini leads the Canadian Senior Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team into Rio this September to defend their Paralympic gold as a man whose life has been shaped by his sport.
He couldn’t have imagined the hard road from Somalia would lead him to where he is now: the star of a commercial, a Paralympic gold medallist and a key member of the Canadian team playing in front of noisy, packed crowds at the Parapan American Games.
“You never really think this might happen,” Dini said. “But you do think about your dreams, things you want to accomplish in life.”
“I try to appreciate every day in life,” he said. “I try to be humble. I’ve dealt with lots of
situations, but I try to be humble and just enjoy life.”
Farhan Hadafo: Somalia
Hadafo a Somali born 19 year Old who is based in Italy agreed to represent his country after he was approached by the Somalia Paralympics committee to represent his country.
Hadafo took part in a Tournament held in Italy in March 2016 and qualified to take part in an International Event. Fast-forward and Hadafo shall carry the Somalia flag with eyes set on a bag full of Gold medals in 100m and 400m which he shall be taking part in.
Farhan Hadafo said, “my will is iron, and my resistance is constant as the love I feel for the race that has no sequel.”
Abdi Jama: Great Britain
A double U22 European Champion with the GB Junior Team, Abdi won bronze at his Paralympic debut in Beijing (2008). In 2010, Abdi then assisted the senior GB Team to 5th place at the World Championships before. in 2011 he played a fundamental role in the team’s gold medal campaign at the 2011 European Championships.
Abdi’s second Paralympic Games in 2012 saw him named co-captain of ParalympicsGB’s Wheelchair Basketball Team with Matt Byrne, leading them to the bronze medal game where they narrowly lost to the USA.
Abdi continued to build upon his international success, captaining Great Britain to a consecutive European Championship gold medal (2013, Germany) and earning a place in the All Star Team. In 2015 Abdi secured a third consecutive European title and another Championship All Star Team, playing a crucial role in the team’s gold medal winning campaign and Rio 2016 qualification.
This story was contributed by number of All Things Somali writers. Do not republish without permission.