Has anything ever set you back from following your dreams or goals? We mean really set you back?
Well one thing we learnt from Abdullah Salem al Blooshi’s is that nothing can stop you from achieving what you want.
When Abdullah was 12 when he began cycling. A year later he won his first team medal. Two years after that he was representing the UAE in the national team.
He won bronze in the team time trial at the 2009 Arabian Championship dnd become the first Emirati in the peloton in the Asian Championship. That’s pretty impressive.
And for a sport that isn’t traditional in the region, a sort that has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last decade among Arabs in the Gulf region, Abdullah’s early success and passion was inspiring.
Abdullah was set for cycling stardom. There was definitely no doubt about that.
But in 2012, Abdullah had an accident.
It changed everything for him.
After colliding with a road sign at speed while training, Abdullah’s right arm sustained such severe damage that it seemed impossible that he would ever be able to compete again. Over the next few years, Abdullah’s underwent over 30 surgeries in the UAE and with specialists doctors in Germany.
Despite this he hasn’t regained the use of his right arm again.
The prospects didn’t look bright and for a while Abdullah’s himself wasn’t motivated to compete again.
But it was his love for the cycling and the support and encouragement of his friend and now coach, Mohammed Al Murawwi Abdullah that pushed get back on a bike and hit the racing arena again.
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Abdullah’s first race after the accident was the Nad al Sheba race, UAE, in the determination category, where he took first place.
Since then, Abdullah has raced in Paralympic competitions all over the world, and is part of the UAE Paralympic National team.
Abdullah’s latest achievement is winning bronze at the Asian Championship in Uzbekistan in April and he isn’t planning to slow down.
The Paralympic Games in August 2020 aren’t that far off and Abdullah is already gearing up for them.
His personal trainer, Joe Watters, is also one of Abdullah’s biggest supporters,
“Not many people could come back from an injury so severe, it’s a challenge mentally as much as physically.”
He also added,
“Abdullah hasn’t let it stop him from training hard and believing in himself, and it’s shown in his achievements since the accident – hopefully this will inspire others and show people that, if you have the motivation, you can triumph over adversity.”
Learn more about Abdullah’s journey in the video below.