Syrian refugee’s Olympic dream
28 January 2019
24-year-old Eid Aljazairli had never swam in his life but as a Syrian refugee in the UK he is chasing an Olympic-sized dream.
Eid came to the UK 18 months ago and enrolled on an English for Speakers of Other Languages course at Barking & Dagenham College.
He was inspired to start swimming after watching a video about Michael Phelps. He didn’t know him before but thought “this guy is an amazing person!”. That day, he decided he wanted to go to the Olympics.
Eid hopes to compete for Team Refugees in the 2020 Olympics.
He’s made remarkable progress since learning to swim just 12 months ago. In fact, his coach hasn’t seen such amazingly fast progress in a swimmer in a 20 year career. Eid gets up at 4.30am every morning so he can get in enough training, which includes four hours of swimming, an hour of running and an hour at the gym. His hard work is already paying off. Eid has now taken part in his first swimming competition and achieved four medals! A gold medal for the 25m front crawl, a silver for the 50m butterfly and two bronze medals for 100m freestyle front crawl and 150m breaststroke.
Determined Eid also wants to go to university and has got support from a local family that he now lives with and also his local MP Stella Creasy.
His former English teacher Kamila Naeem says: “His story is incredible! I couldn't be any prouder. All of us at Barking & Dagenham College hope he achieves his Olympic dream.”
Eid has a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds to support his training. The address is: