The Inspiring Story Of A Ghanaian Para-Taekwondo World Champion

    When a dream comes face-to-face with an obstacle, it takes a lot of determination to pick back the pieces and move on, especially when everything appears to have come to an end.
    This is the story of Sharon Akwei, the first Ghanaian Para-Taekwondo champion and medalist.
    Sharon Akwei at one point thought his dream of becoming one of the greatest Martial Artist Ghana has ever produced had come to an end.
    Sharon had started Martial Arts at age 7 and had developed an interest in watching the moves and techniques displayed by some of the greatest stars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee and the rest.  He always tried practicing some of the moves and techniques they displayed so well that, when he met Mr. Sesi Dzakpasu, a Taekwondo black belt and trainer at age 9, it took no convincing to introduce him to Taekwondo.
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    “He asked me of what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to become a world champion for Ghana so he motivated me. At age 12 I started fighting in the National Junior Championship and inter clubs levels in Ghana and was never defeated.” Sharon vividly recollects.
    But as fate may have it, at age 23 he was involved in an accident that kept him on admission at the 37 Military Hospital for almost a year. Whiles on admission Mr Dzakpasu kept on encouraging him and gave him inspiration.
    Due to an injury in the left hand that made it virtually numb, Sharon thought it was all over for the sport. However, whilst contemplating going into some other activity, Master Sesi assured him all was not lost and that he could still participate in Para-Taekwondo in spite of his disability.
    It was difficult to pick up the pieces but, as Sharon put, “I still had to live my dreams”. Nine years after the accident, he became the first Ghanaian World Bronze Medalist when he placed third at the 5th World Para Taekwondo Championship in Moscow in 2014, the highest and only medal ever recorded in Ghana’s history since the sport became a national sport in 1980. In the same year he was adjudged the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Taekwondo Player of the year and Promising Star of the year.
    This inspiring story shows us that nothing can be a hindrance in our life if we don’t allow it to be.
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