Olesya Vladykina won a gold medal in the Beijing Paralympic after losing an arm in an accident
Sport is a miracle that changed my life. Now I try to change the attitudes of people towards physical disabilities.
She is young, beautiful and talented; but more than anything else she is an inspiration to many people across the globe!! She is Olesya Vladykina of Russia who lost an arm in an accident. But, that could not deter her strong spirit to win the first place in the Paralympic and also to set a world record.
In 2008, Vladykina lost her left arm in an accident. She lost her best friend Alexandra in the same accident which took place in Thailand when their bus overturned.
The bus crashed and when I opened my eyes, I first worried about my face and then realized I didn’t have my arm. In this terrible accident, my best friend Alexandra died, who also swam with me. Now I compete in her memory, that pushes me, said Olesya Vladykina.
After the accident, Olesya resumed training just a mere month after she was released from the hospital, and after just five months, she won the Beijing Paralympic final. Olesya refused a prosthesis and does everything perfectly with her right hand. She has been a professional swimmer since the age of 13. Her coach had never trained a disabled athlete before.
My coach came into the water with me to feel how difficult it is swimming with one arm. In just a few training sessions we completely changed my style of swimming.
In the 2008 Summer Paralympics held in Beijing, Olesya finished fourth in the 200 meters (660 ft) individual medley and set a new world record in the 100m breastroke on her way to winning the gold medal.