Palestinian Girl Dreams of Being Gaza’s First Olympic Swimmer

A 14-year-old girl from Gaza who has survived three wars as a child is a candidate for an Olympic swimming championship. Four years ago, Fatima Abu Shedeg was not only unable to swim but had never stepped in a swimming pool.

Now she’s diving deep into training, dreaming of becoming the first athlete from Gaza to swim in the Olympics.

“My Father’s dream was to be a swimmer, he was killed. So I want to fulfill his dream ” Fatma said.

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“I want to become a swimmer in order to be the first lifeguard for women on the Gaza beach and travel to Tokyo and be among the Olympic swimming gold medalists”

In 2014,  Fatma’s home was hit by a missile that killed her father. Since then, swimming has given Fatma a new purpose in life. But because the of the Israeli  blockade on Gaza, training is a challenge.


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