Road to Tokyo: Syrian migrant Mohamad Alsabbagh finds support in Canada
Born in Syria, Mohamad Alsabbagh now trains in Montreal with the goal of getting to Tokyo 2020.
Elite ITU triathlete Mohamad Alsabbagh competes for the Syrian national team but is proud to call Canada home. He moved here in 2010 to continue his studies and train at the highest level with the dream of one day racing in the Olympic Games. The tumultuous political situation in Syria has had a deep impact on Alsabbagh. He has watched his country crumble and lost friends and loved ones in recent years. The region has also all but lost its sporting community as a result of the conflict.
“Training (in Syria)… isn’t always safe there,” he says. “Sadly, less people are training. But there are people who are still trying.”
As a triathlete, Alsabbagh has found tremendous support in the ITU development program has helped him during his journey and allowed him to compete in races. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in sight, Alsabbagh is training with coach Kyla Rollinson and the Karma squad in Montreal. To finance his athletics pursuit and earn enough points on the WTS circuit to compete at the highest level in the sport, Mohamad juggles his training with four part-time jobs.
With a background as a swimmer, Alsabbagh’s strength is in the water. He enjoys draft-legal racing because he enjoys racing right next to his competitors for the entire race. He knows that he has a lot of work to do in order to achieve his goal but he is confident that with hard work and the help of his friends and the community he can achieve his dream of competing in the next Olympics.
This video is first in TMC‘s weekly, five-part series telling Alsabbagh’s inspirational story.
You can also learn more about him on his website and support his Olympic campaign through the links below:
His Twitter and Instagram handles are @mo2Toyko