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PARALYMPIC ATHLETES | MICHAEL ISHIGUZO
Michael Ishiguzo © WWW.TALBRONSTEIN.NET
Michael Ishiguzo © WWW.TALBRONSTEIN.NET
Michael Ishiguzo © WWW.TALBRONSTEIN.NET
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VIEW SOME MORE IMAGES OF MICHAEL TAKEN DURING VARIOUS SPORTS EVENTS. GALLERY 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
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Interview with Michael Ishiguzo

British athlete and Amputee Football player Michael Ishiguzo on being an amputee, disability sports and the media

Michael, you are currently living in the U.K., but are originally from Nigeria…
Yes, I am from a very small family of four (my dad, mum, sister and I). I was born and grew up in LAGOS Nigeria.

When and how have you lost your leg?
I had the accident that led to the amputation of my right leg while training with my football team, I was badly tackled and I broke my chin and somehow it got infected with Gas gangrene and there was nothing the doctor could do than to amputate the leg.

When you think of the difference in the situation for amputees in the U. K. and in Nigeria - what comes to your mind first?
The moment you become disabled in Nigeria you are automatically seen as a second class citizen, a burden and a hopeless person. While in the U. K. comparably equal opportunity is given to abled and disabled people, sometimes priority is given to disabled people.

You are using a pretty advanced artificial leg and don't bother trying to cover the fact that you are an amputee…
I do have an advanced artificial leg and I don’t usually cover it because I believe that everybody is disabled in one way or the another. Physical, mental, spiritual and financial disabilities are all somehow disabilities.

As an amputee you get most probably some attention on the streets - has there been any particular situation involving you being different which comes to your mind right away?
There have been times that in the midst of people that I had appeared differently, but being positive was the key for me, like this day when a little kid walked up to me after seeing my artificial leg, and he asked me: "Are you TERMINATOR 3?" I laughed and I said to him, no I am not TERMINATOR 3, but TERMINATOR 4 and he walked away smiling.

The audience at sports events for athletes with a disability is usually still very limited – what could be the main reasons for that? How could it be changed?
It is simply because there is not enough awareness of this kind of sports. This could be changed only when disabled people are involved in commercials, TV Talk shows and other mediums of publicity so that other people out there could get to know more about disability sports and its athletes.

Many famous non-disabled athletes appear in commercials - why do you think there are hardly any commercials for athletes with a disability?
The disability sports market’s value is very low and this will not change until the media sector gets fully involved and interested in disability sports and the athletes. Make at least one or two athletes celebrities in this area of events. Nobody, no company will put money on an unknown athlete or sport for a commercial, this can only be changed by the press’ involvement in the game.

You are a very outgoing and easy-to-talk-to guy. If you do not mind that personal question - how has the fact that you are an amputee played on your personal relationships?
Being an amputee has not made any difference in my love life, because I believe that love is not all about looks or physiques, but the heart, and I know that I have got the kind of heart any woman will crave for to be hers.

On the first page we did together - I quoted you with words like "Disability is not an excuse, there is ability in disability." - Is there any particular message you would like to convey to our visitors?
Disability does not make you any more or less than who you really are. And who you really are is not determined by your looks, but by your inner values.



© 2004 Steffen Berk

DISABILITY BOOKS

"AMPUTEE IDENTITY DISORDER", "LIFE ON WHEELS - FOR THE ACTIVE WHEELCHAIR USER", "AMPUTATIONS AND PROSTHETICS" - FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SOME OF THE BEST TITLES REGARDING DISABILITY, AMPUTATION AND THE PROCESS OF REHABILITATION.

PARALYMPIC SPORTS EVENTS

PARALYMPIC WORLD CUP IN MANCHESTER, FIRST SITTING VOLLEYBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KAMNIK, WHEELCHAIR TENNIS MASTERS, SHORT COURSE SWIMMING CHAMPS IN CHEMNITZ: FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THESE AND OTHER SPORTS EVENTS FOR ATHLETES WITH A DISABILITY.

AMPUTEE WEB

VISIT OUR AMPUTEE WEB WITH INTRODUCTIONS AND LINKS TO GREAT AMPUTEE SITES ON THE WWW. FIND OUT ABOUT WELL KNOWN MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKERS LIKE MATT GLOWACKI OR THE AMPUTEE BODYBUILDER MELVIN HENDERSON AND LISTEN TO SOME SONGS BY THE CANADIAN SINGER MARTIN DESCHAMPS.

SPORTS CALENDAR
CHECK OUR CALENDAR AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT UPCOMING SPORTS EVENTS FOR AMPUTEE ATHLETES AND ATHLETES WITH OTHER DISABILITIES. HAVE WE MISSED ANY MAJOR COMPETITION? LET US KNOW. WE WILL INCLUDE YOUR INFORMATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
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