Jan 17, 2021
We dare you to tell Ali Jawad that he can't do something. He will probably prove you wrong just as he's been doing his entire life.
Ali was born without legs, but he has never viewed that as a disadvantage. At age 7, he dreamed of being on an Olympic podium after watching Michael Johnson win double golds in the 200m and 400m in Atlanta. He finally made that dream come true by winning a silver medal in Rio in 2016 in his third Paralympic Games. The journey to that podium was not an easy one. In fact, Ali nearly lost his life in 2010 due to complications from Crohn's disease.
In this episode with Kara and Chris, Ali shares his inspiring story, one that has been grounded in integrity since the very beginning. He discusses his first week in powerlifting at 16 when his coach gave him the choice to always compete clean or get out of his gym. He talks about his meteoric rise in the sport to his first Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008, but his chances for the podium there were derailed by a mysterious illness. That illness, later diagnosed as Crohn's disease would nearly take his life and almost cost him his career in 2010. Ever present, he is still struggling with the impact of Crohn's on his body to this day.
Ali discusses how he overcame these challenges to become a World Champion in 2014, European Champion in 2015, and then win that coveted silver medal in Rio in 2016. Now, Ali hopes to make a 4th Paralympic team in Tokyo this year, but he tells you why it might be his biggest challenge yet.
Along the way, Ali has been an outspoken advocate for clean sport since the very beginning of his career in powerlifting. He has spoken out against systematic doping in his sport, advocated for lifetime bans, and provided specific recommendations on how to change the governance structure within WADA in order to better elevate the athlete's voice.
You will not find an athlete who speaks more clearly on these topics, and we are honored to share Ali's inspiring story with you.