His request was straightforward. Mohammed Al-Khatib of the State of Palestine needed funds to train in the United States so that he could represent his homeland in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The yoga and fitness instructor from Hebron has a dream – to win an Olympic medal in the 100 meters or 200 meters competition “on behalf of every Palestinian.”
As he explains in the request video below, understandably, Palestine lacks the facilities and the professional coaches all athletes need to advance to a world-class level.
But despite that, Al-Khatib has nurtured this dream of representing Palestine in Rio for the past three years, training hard after being encouraged by a US track and field coach, Crystal Dunlap, who saw him run a 10.4 second 100 meters without spikes or starting blocks. Coaches and role models are so important. In fact, Al-Khatib was inspired by two people, as he explains here: a 15-year-old Lithuanian swimmer named Ruta Meilutyte who won gold in London in 2012, as well as a Palestinian named Mohammad Assaf who won a singing contest in Arab Idol. Learn more in this great profile of Al-Khatib here
Al-Khatib wanted to raise $7,850 so that he could participate in a 3-month training camp in Texas from January. In only 4 days, he reached $12,160! So yes, Al-Khatib is on his way to Texas!
You can actually continue to make contributions here – funds beyond his budget will be donated to the Jericho Youth Club’s Running Team in the West Bank.