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Competing in sports gave me a life: Jordan's first Paralympics gold medalist
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10:29, September 01, 2008

"Competing in sports gave me a life," Maha Barghouti, Jordan's wheelchair table tennis ace who headed to Beijing for Paralympics, was quoted by local daily The Jordan Times on Sunday.

In Sydney 2000, Barghouti won the first Paralympic gold medal for Jordan. She was named Arab Athlete of the Year in 2001 and voted Jordan's top sports person of 2002.

Starting to play table tennis and athletics in 1986, Barghouti said: "Competing in sports gave me a life. And that's what I urge parents with disabled children to do."

"When any disabled person gains confidence and has the support of the family, they can easily convince others that they are not a burden," she added.

Jordan's Paralympic athletes headed to Beijing on Friday to take part in the 13th Paralympic Games which will be held September 6-17.

The kingdom's athletes will compete in table tennis, power lifting and athletics.

The first time Jordan's flag was hoisted during an Olympic event was at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta when Imad Gharbawi won a silver medal in the discus.

The crowning achievement was in Sydney 2000 when Barghouti won Jordan's first gold medal. Two medals were added in Athens 2004 when Jamil Shibli won silver in shot put while the women's table tennis team won bronze.

Source:Xinhua

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