Egyptian swimmer Omar Hegazy, 26, recently became the first Egyptian to cross the 20 kilometers from Jordan’s al-Aqaba to Egypt’s Taba, challenging his own limits after having lost his leg in a tragic accident three years earlier.
Since this accident, Omar has been keen to continue all his favorite sports — swimming, diving and even mountain climbing — to “prove to the entire world that people can always choose to be greater than they ever thought they can be.”
The Egyptian champion decided to take on this challenge, not only for himself but also to send a message to the world that Egypt is safe. He picked “I CHOOSE” as the slogan for his adventure to say that with hope you can achieve your goal and it’s your call to keep moving forward.
“When we constantly complain and rant about the negative aspects in our lives, it only holds us back and doesn’t help us reach our dreams and aspirations in live,” Omar said, after he had completed his 20 km swim
“I enjoyed the swim very much because it’s something I love. No doubt there were moments of complete hopelessness, when the waves were high for example — but one has to push through.”
Omar chose Sinai especially in order to support tourism in Egypt so when people and media all over the world start talking about this achievement, they can focus on how beautiful Sinai is, Omar said.
To train for this swim, Omar used to practice from 8-10 hours a day under the supervision of Dr. Sharif Hassan and coach Moustafa Khalil.