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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Student Essay - Shin Woo Tak, Year 11, Sayfol International School - My journey through life

Shin Woo Tak, Year 11, Sayfol International School

My journey through life

I was born in Seoul, Korea. I was born without arms. My parents never left my side and they told me they never regretted bringing me up. Even though they went through hard times, they never gave up on me. When I was six, I was watching the Olympics on television. I decided I wanted to be an athlete. The Olympics inspired me to have a dream. 

At the age of eight, I entered primary school. All the kids looked at me and they were shocked. They looked at me as if they were disgusted. They would run away from me and would not talk to me. A few days later, they started to tease me for not having arms. The teasing became worse and kids started to bully me. They started to hit and abuse me. I endured the pain and finally entered a school for disabled athletes. Inside the school, there were a lot of people like me. All the students, teachers and the principal welcomed me. The environment was very different and much friendlier. 

They taught me how to run and jump. The coaches were very strict. Our aim was to join the Paralympics 2016 in Rio, Brazil. We had dozens of exams but I had great results. When I turned 16, I was able to participate in some small competitions. I won almost all of them. A few weeks later, a letter came. The letter was an invitation from the Founder of the Paralympics. My coach and I were very excited.

We decided to work extra hard. We still had a lot of time left to prepare. Finally the Paralympics arrived. After several wins, I made it to the semifinals. I was nervous and suddenly could not feel my legs. I started to breathe heavily. The referee fired the pistol and I ran as fast as I could. I fell down onto the ground. I had a bad cramp in my leg. I still got up and ran as fast as I could and came in second. I was very disappointed in myself because I could not make it to the finals. A few hours later, there was an announcement that the winner had been disqualified due to the usage of drugs. I was appointed to the finals!

The day arrived and I was extremely nervous. I couldn’t think properly. The referee fired the pistol and I could not remember anything. I was the first South Korean to win the gold medal. I was proud that even a disabled person could achieve such a great achievement. My dream hadn’t been easy but it was definitely worth it!

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