UARU
Rio 2016 Paralympics. Story One: I Had A Desire To Live And I Started To Swim
7 September, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✅ On August 7th, the Paralympic Games begin in Rio;
✅ 172 athletes, 17 more than last year, will represent Ukraine. This is because the Russian Paralympic team was banned from participating;
✅ Anton Kol’ is a 26-year-old Paralympic swimmer who has won a number of silver and bronze medals in European and World Championships
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Anton Kol’ is one of the Paralympic athletes who will represent Ukraine at the Rio Paralympic Games. He is 26-years-old and has already won a number of silver and bronze medals in European and World Championships in Montreal, the Netherlands, Glasgow, and Madeira.

"I understood that swimming is totally my type of sport. I never missed an opportunity to practice learning how to swim, like when we went to the river, for instance," he says.

Anton is an orphan; his mother abandoned him at birth. He lived at a maternity home until the age of 4 and then he was transferred to an orphanage. It was exactly there where he learnt how to swim.

"I tried to swim, but by their facial expressions I understood that I wasn’t an up-and-coming athlete. After that, I became enthusiastic about swimming. A strong desire appeared," he smiles.

Hromadske launches a special project about Ukrainian Paralympic athletes in order to tell their personal stories. Hromadske spoke to Anton Kol’ about his childhood, how he struggled in professional sports and much more.