The records that this athlete from Egypt has just beaten are likely to remain engraved for a long time among the exceptional performances. Omar Hegazy, 31 years old, broke two freediving world records despite his handicap.
The Guinness World Record will remember two measures concerning this underwater athlete. The first one: 56,48 meters, record of the longest distance swum in depth with only one breath and without fins. The second, an atypical category of the discipline: 76.7 meters, record with a single fin. Indeed, if the amputation of Omar Hegazy does not define his records, his performances are however made much more incredible by this detail.
A tragic accident
At the age of 25, Omar was living as a bank employee in the Sinai Peninsula when he was involved in a motorcycle accident that proved fatal to one of his legs. This upheaval impacted the young man’s entire daily life and his morale was at an all-time low. However, after three long months of rehabilitation, Omar gradually learned to use crutches and a wheelchair before going to Germany to receive a prosthesis.
Swimming as a strength
Sport first presented itself to Omar as a way to vent his anger before becoming a source of fulfillment. Two personalities have encouraged the athlete’s journey: Dareen Barbar, the Lebanese leg amputee who set the record for the longest time spent in the chair position, and Faisal Al Mosawi, a wheelchair diver who broke the world record for the fastest 10 km scuba dive. As such, Omar has in turn invested himself in swimming, until he rediscovers a sense of full possession of his abilities in the water.
An ambassador of handisport
In addition to his two freediving records, the Egyptian athlete’s achievements include swimming across the Gulf of Aqaba and cycling from Sinai to the Pyramids of Giza. Today, Omar delivers conferences around the theme of mental development for people with disabilities. He tries to share his experience and his story in order to motivate people who were once in his situation or are still in it.
An exceptional journey and an example to follow!