The TV reporter Simo Benbachir hosted the Iraqi martial arts champion, Adel Altamimi, in his highly successful show “The Arabs of America”, which he presents on “Hala TV” on the website “Panet”. During the interview, Altamimi talked about his debut in Iraq and the difficulties he encountered because of the war and the embargo, before he was able to make a name for himself on the Arab, and then world, athletic scene.
Altamimi was very passionate about sport from a young age, which is why he chose to practice karate in Iraq when he was less than 10 years old. He also told the Simo about his participation in several junior championships where he won important places. In 2014, he decided to specialize in martial arts following his immigration to the United States.
He said: “Before the war broke out, I immigrated to Lebanon, then to the United States in 2008, and participated in several championships in Europe, the United States and Canada. In 2014, I decided to become a martial arts fighter and I became the first Iraqi to raise the flag of my country in the United States in this sport. “
Altamimi said that his idol on the athletic scene is world champion Mike Tyson, whom he considers a legend. He went so far as to add that meeting him is a landmark event in his professional and personal life. Altamimi also mentioned having spoken with the daughter of world champion Arnold Schwarzenegger, as part of her book which was published in the United States, in which she talked about champions and their interesting stories.
As to why he chose martial arts, Altamimi explains: “It’s a unique sport that combines many sports at the same time, such as karate, boxing, wrestling and kick boxing, all in one dangerous sport. I love challenges and dangerousness and I don’t like easy sport, and that’s why I made this choice”.
Altamimi did not fail to express his regret that this sport does not receive enough attention in the Arab world. He said that the region is full of talents, skills and champions, who only need encouragement, support and training to achieve wonderful accomplishments on behalf of their countries.
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