Representing Yemen in the London Olympics, Ali Khousrof probably has one of the most remarkable back stories of any athlete competing in this year’s games.
I was there the night Ali was shot on April 27th 2011 outside Sana’a’s sport stadium during one of the many violent episodes of Yemen’s uprising. Ten activists were killed and two later died from their injuries that day.
One of more than a hundred demonstrators injured on Apri 27, 2011.
Earlier this year I watched Ali training in the warehouse next to the tents of Change Square in Sana’a. Today, fifteen months on from when 11 bullet fragments shattered through his abdomen, I shook his hand and wished him luck before he heads for London tonight.
Ali’s determination is a testament to all those who took part and died in Yemen’s revolution and continue to camp out in squares across the country, as well as to the president of Yemen’s judo committee, Noman Shahir, who paid for Ali’s medical care.
So, good luck to Ali and all of Yemen’s Olympic team heading to London.
Joe Sheffer made this video about Ali last month. My small contribution was the mobile phone footage I captured during last year’s protests.