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Pictures | Wed Jun 14, 2017 | 8:35pm EDT

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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