Edition:
United Kingdom
Pictures | Thu Jun 15, 2017 | 1:35am BST

Olympic dreams for Afghan amputees

Malik Mohammad 24, relaxes in the pool during his training in Kabul. It took a pair of landmines that severed Mohammad's legs for him to find his life's passion for swimming in land-locked Afghanistan.



REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Malik Mohammad 24, relaxes in the pool during his training in Kabul. It took a pair of landmines that severed Mohammad's legs for him to find his life's passion for swimming in land-locked Afghanistan. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Malik Mohammad 24, relaxes in the pool during his training in Kabul. It took a pair of landmines that severed Mohammad's legs for him to find his life's passion for swimming in land-locked Afghanistan. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
1 / 11
Faced with an uncertain future in a country where many war victims face lifetimes of suffering, Mohammad's life changed when a U.S. government official arranged for him to receive treatment, physical therapy, and education in the United States.



REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Faced with an uncertain future in a country where many war victims face lifetimes of suffering, Mohammad's life changed when a U.S. government official arranged for him to receive treatment, physical therapy, and education in the United...more

Faced with an uncertain future in a country where many war victims face lifetimes of suffering, Mohammad's life changed when a U.S. government official arranged for him to receive treatment, physical therapy, and education in the United States. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
2 / 11
It was there that Mohammad first learned to swim, and put him on a track to what he hopes will eventually be sporting glory at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.


REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

It was there that Mohammad first learned to swim, and put him on a track to what he hopes will eventually be sporting glory at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

It was there that Mohammad first learned to swim, and put him on a track to what he hopes will eventually be sporting glory at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
3 / 11
His dreams of competing in the Olympics have been dashed before, when he failed to make the cut for the summer games in London in 2012.


REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

His dreams of competing in the Olympics have been dashed before, when he failed to make the cut for the summer games in London in 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

His dreams of competing in the Olympics have been dashed before, when he failed to make the cut for the summer games in London in 2012. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
4 / 11
However nothing in Afghanistan is easy. Mohammad says his application to the Mexico games has been delayed by conflicting details on his identification papers, a common problem in Afghanistan where many people, including Mohammad, don't know their exact birth date and other information.


REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

However nothing in Afghanistan is easy. Mohammad says his application to the Mexico games has been delayed by conflicting details on his identification papers, a common problem in Afghanistan where many people, including Mohammad, don't know their...more

However nothing in Afghanistan is easy. Mohammad says his application to the Mexico games has been delayed by conflicting details on his identification papers, a common problem in Afghanistan where many people, including Mohammad, don't know their exact birth date and other information. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
5 / 11
His prosthetic legs have begun to wear after eight years, and a clinic in the United States has offered to provide treatment.



REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

His prosthetic legs have begun to wear after eight years, and a clinic in the United States has offered to provide treatment. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

His prosthetic legs have begun to wear after eight years, and a clinic in the United States has offered to provide treatment. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
6 / 11
Mohammad's application for an American visa was denied last year, however, with the State Department saying he had not proved that he would willingly return to Afghanistan. He is working to reapply for a visa.


REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Mohammad's application for an American visa was denied last year, however, with the State Department saying he had not proved that he would willingly return to Afghanistan. He is working to reapply for a visa. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Mohammad's application for an American visa was denied last year, however, with the State Department saying he had not proved that he would willingly return to Afghanistan. He is working to reapply for a visa. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
7 / 11
No matter what happens, Mohammad says the pool has become a comforting place, because in the water it does not matter that he lost his legs.

 REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

No matter what happens, Mohammad says the pool has become a comforting place, because in the water it does not matter that he lost his legs. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

No matter what happens, Mohammad says the pool has become a comforting place, because in the water it does not matter that he lost his legs. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
8 / 11
Khan Agha 28, sits in a swimming pool during his practice in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Khan Agha 28, sits in a swimming pool during his practice in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Khan Agha 28, sits in a swimming pool during his practice in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
9 / 11
The lack of resources for a world-class training program makes it difficult for the members of the Afghan paralympic swimming team who don't have access to international facilities and support.


REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The lack of resources for a world-class training program makes it difficult for the members of the Afghan paralympic swimming team who don't have access to international facilities and support. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The lack of resources for a world-class training program makes it difficult for the members of the Afghan paralympic swimming team who don't have access to international facilities and support. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
10 / 11
Zubair Haidari 38, poses for a picture after his practice in a swimming pool in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Zubair Haidari 38, poses for a picture after his practice in a swimming pool in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Zubair Haidari 38, poses for a picture after his practice in a swimming pool in Kabul. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Close
11 / 11

Next Slideshows

Under the neon glow

London gallery "God's Own Junkyard" is filled with hundreds of bright neon artworks and kitsch memorabilia that shine a light on the luminescent craft.

14 Jun 2017

Quake strikes Mexico-Guatemala border

A strong earthquake hits southwestern Guatemala near the border with Mexico .

14 Jun 2017

Olympics for Seniors

Brussels hosted its first "Olympics for Seniors", giving locals aged between 75 and 96 the chance to compete in a range of adapted sports at the national...

14 Jun 2017

Messages from the class of 2017

Graduates wear decorated mortar boards during a commencement for Medgar Evers College in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

09 Jun 2017

MORE IN PICTURES

Iraqi forces complete takeover of Kirkuk

Iraqi forces complete takeover of Kirkuk

Iraqi forces take control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga.

Battle for besieged Philippine city nears end

Battle for besieged Philippine city nears end

Some of the 200,000 residents of Marawi, driven from their homes during 150 days of battle between the Philippine military and pro-Islamic State rebels, return to start a long cleanup of their devastated city.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos from the past week.

Puerto Rico after Maria

Puerto Rico after Maria

Residents of Puerto Rico start to rebuild after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

What Islamic State left behind

What Islamic State left behind

Sifting through the rubble of Islamic State's abandoned strongholds.

Editors Choice Pictures

Editors Choice Pictures

Our top photos from the last 24 hours.

Today in Sports

Today in Sports

Our top sports photography of the day.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos from the past week.

Richard Spencer speaks on Florida campus

Richard Spencer speaks on Florida campus

Protesters chanting "Go home Nazis" sought to drown out the speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida, as the campus erected barricades and deployed hundreds of police officers to guard against unrest.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast