In this guest blog, MySwimPro Ambassador and Syrian National Swimmer Ayman Klzie shares his swimming journey, and the road to the Tokyo Olympics.
Hi, my name is Ayman Klzie, and I’m a Syrian National Team swimmer. I started swimming when I was 7 years old.
In the beginning, I didn’t feel I had the talent to be a professional swimmer, but I always had a feeling of love in the water.
Training During the War
In 2011, the war started in Syria, and it made training, travel and going to any competitions difficult.
I moved from Aleppo to Damascus to keep training, because there was only 1 swimming pool open there. During these years, training was really difficult, because we were swimming in really cold water or swimming without light.
The hardest part is that I did not see my family for a long time. But we didn’t give up, and we kept focusing on my goal – the Olympic Games.
Hitting My Stride in Thailand
I moved to Thailand in 2016 after the World Championships because I would be closer to qualify for the Olympics. It was a really big challenge because I did not speak English or Thai, and I was even farther from my family than before. I also became a swimming coach at Thanyapura Sports & Health Resort in Phuket.
Everything changed when I met my coach, Mohammed Mardini. He opened my eyes to look differently at swimming. I started focusing on training hard, and competing like a professional swimmer. I went to 6 World Championships, 6 World Cups and many many swim meets.
I became the National Record Holder for the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly, and the 200 and 400 IM.
And now, my dream has come true. I am going to Tokyo 2021!
It’s an incredible feeling to be chosen from the top athletes for the Olympics. I will swim the 100 or 200 butterfly in Tokyo.
I am so excited to be part of the MySwimPro team and so happy to share my story with you. Water is life!