After losing his leg in a motorbike accident in 2015, 31-year-old Omar Hegazy channeled his frustration into swimming. Seven years down the line, the Egyptian swimmer recently broke two Guinness World Records.
Hegazy broke the world records for the “longest distance swam underwater with one breath” and the “longest distance swam underwater with one breath with fins,” according to a statement by the Guinness World Records.
Without gasping for a single breath, Hegazy swam 56.48 meters then donned a fin to swim 76.7 meters.
“Nothing beats the journey,” he wrote on Instagram.
Relishing his big win, he added that he “enjoyed the friendships and the unconditional love I saw in the eyes of my friends, family and coaches.”
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According to the Guinness World Records, the banker-turned-Egyptian swimmer faced several obstacles along the way.
After being run over by a truck in 2015 and getting admitted to a hospital, Hegazy decided to get his leg amputated. After losing the limb, he struggled with performing basic tasks such as using the restroom.
It was only when he came across Dareen Barbar, a Lebanese amputee and a world record breaker, and Faisal Al Mosawi, a Kuwaiti wheelchair user and also a record-breaker, that he was struck by the idea of channeling his frustration and anger into something fulfilling.
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“My source of motivation in the beginning was that I do not have much left to lose,” Hegazy said in a statement.
“I only got into swimming because I was a very angry. I found a way to I let out my anger and frustration, but it was also where I felt really free and capable,” he added.
“I hope these Guinness World Records titles inspire others and serve as a reminder that amazing is somewhere near you. You just have to open your eyes wide,” Hegazy concluded.