Day 27: Tunisia’s Paralympics gift for Tunisians

I hate to say this but as I already took part in Olympics, some routine has settled down during some Paralympic days. Especially that the rush and the stress of the second Opening Ceremony is behind us now. I litterally was dead the past days because we had a lack of volunteers and I had to help several delegations at the same time. It was not easy to split my day between them. But I survived, and everything is back to “normal” now. Arrival-related problems, administrative and logistic topics are all solved. Competitions have started and most of the delegation members know where is what and how to do it. And it was only yesterday that I got some time to breath.

In the meantime, the games have started, and some athletes have already won some medals. It was by chance that I witnessed Maroua Brahmi, a Tunisian Club Throw athlete breaking the World Record and winning the second Gold Medal for Tunisia, I was there with my delegation helping with Shot Put training. I was too happy and excited that I dared to leave them on their own for some time and enjoy the moments of glory and happiness with Tunisia athletes.

The day after was a big day for another Tunisian Hero, Soumaya Bousaid, which competed in Women 1500m class T3. I was not there but I was watching a live stream from the Paralympic Village. That girl is just unbelievable, I’ve never seen somebody with her will, with her determination and with her perseverance. She is just unstoppable. Not only she got the Gold Medal but she also finished the race in ease. The other athletes were dead just after the race, but she, she seemed to be totally comfortable, with a lot of self-confidence.

It was so important for Soumaya to win this game. She has been facing some problems with the Tunisian Confederation and despite all the difficulties that she has had, she could make it. It was in the beginning of August that I heard about Soumaya’s case and what she has been facing. I felt so upset for her that I started a crowdfunding action with some close friends in order to help her and make Tunisians aware of her situation, seeking for some last minutes support, few weeks before the games start. The crowdfunding was a success and I was amazed about the support Tunisian showed. The only sad part is that the confederation heard about this action and published, for some political and under-the-table reasons, a Communiqué saying that the athletes never had financial problems and they treated me as thief trying to steal money from Tunisians.

The media heard about all this Jazz and wanted to interfere and take this case. We advised them that they should do this only after the game, in order not to disturb the athletes and let them focus on their competitions. And that’s what happended. By the end of the games, Soumaya told me about all what was happening withing the confederation and how things are working from the inside. I was shocked and we decided to take this case seriously when we come back to Tunisia and fix it once for all.

A I learned a life-lesson during those days. I saw a unique example, of how one can succeed despite all the obstacles that others deliberately put on the way. I saw how determination and motivation have no limits. I saw how success can be the only option. I saw how nothing can stop you when you want to achieve something. I saw the strongest human in my life… Soumaya Bousaid.

To be continued, this time through Tunisian media…

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