“With hard work anything is possible.”
At 23, Abbas Qali, a Kuwaiti Olympic swimmer is an inspiration to Kuwaiti athletes and swimmers everywhere. Abbas stands testimony to the age old adage, “better late than never.” We spoke to this young man to understand what inspires him to work hard and strive for his goals relentlessly.
A recent graduate in the field of Exercise Sports Science from the University of Alabama, it wasn’t until his junior year of college that Abbas decided to become a professional swimmer. “I was once watching the Olympic swim races and that’s when I decided that I was going to start swimming again, not just as a hobby but as a professional athlete. I started nursing the dream to work hard enough to be able to compete at the Olympics someday.”
To find a course that combined his passion for sports with an educational degree was a major challenge for Abbas, however with his degree in Exercise Science he has not only learned a great deal about the human anatomy but it has also helped him develop techniques that he has then incorporated into his swimming style.
A typical day for Abbas starts at 5.30 am, wake up, grab a quick snack and be at the pool by 6.00 am for practice. He then practices for two hours. This is followed by breakfast, attending classes and then straight to the weight room for an hour. He then works out for a couple of hours before finally heading home at 5.00pm. Once home, there is dinner and then homework! He heads to bed at 10.30pm where he finally retires for the day.
Setting goals is key for Abbas, some of his short term goals include: to set new Kuwaiti records in swimming and participate in international swimming championships whilst long term plans are to surpass what any Kuwaiti swimmer has ever done, to use his knowledge and experience to help improve the sport here in Kuwait. “To all Kuwaiti swimmers and all the other athletes, if you are willing to put in the work and time, it is bound to pay off in the end.”
“Set achievable short term goals that in the long run lead you to your bigger goals and dreams. With hard work anything is possible.” – Abbas Qali