Omar Hegazy lost his left leg in 2015, but that didn’t stop him from making swimming history.
The 31-year-old Egyptian swimmer eclipsed two Guinness World Records last week, including the record for the longest distance swum underwater with one breath (185ft 4in) and the longest distance swum underwater with breathing with fins (251 feet and 7.68 inches). ).
“My source of motivation at the start was that I didn’t have much left to lose,” Hegazy told Guinness World Records in a statement. “I only got into swimming because I was so angry and angry and frustrated, but that’s also where I felt really free and capable.
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Hegazy had his left leg amputated at the age of 25 following a serious motorcycle accident where he was hit by a truck, according to Guinness. Hegazy said he was inspired by other amputee athletes, including Al Mosawi, a wheelchair-bound Kuwaiti who broke the record for the fastest 10-kilometre scuba dive.
“My mental health was falling dramatically and I started having an identity crisis,” he told Guinness. “I didn’t know what I was capable of.”
Hegazy moonlights as a motivational speaker to emphasize that his disability has not hindered his accomplishments. During his sports career, Hegazy swam across the Gulf of Aqaba in 2017 and completed a 700 kilometer cycling challenge, according to his website.
“Nothing beats the trip,” Hegazy wrote in an Instagram post taking his recordings into account. “I appreciated the friendships and unconditional love I saw in the eyes of my friends, family and coaches.”