What started off as a hobby when Abdulaziz Al Obaidly was little more than a toddler, has become his success story today. Now, as a young man of 18, he represents Qatar in regional and international competitions as a professional swimmer and is constantly achieving new heights of excellence with each competition.
Abdulaziz is probably one of Team Qatar’s youngest athletes. He started swimming when he was just 3-years-old at his mother’s insistence, and by the time he was five, he was part of the Al Sadd Club and Qatar’s national swimming team. He swims the IM (individual medley) and specialises in the back stroke and the breast stroke which is where his strengths lie.
Though his mother chose swimming to be his sport, when he saw international swimming champion Michael Phelps win eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was inspired and knew his mother had made the right choice for him. He became a huge fan of both Phelps and South African swimming giant Chad Le Clos and aspires to follow in their footsteps by competing in the Olympics and making his country proud.
Since he was a small boy, Abdulaziz’s dream has been to be an Olympic swimmer and to represent his country by winning many medals. Today, he not only represents Qatar in international swimming competitions and has won a multitude of medals for his outstanding swimming prowess, he is currently training to become an Olympic swimmer.
He is honoured to be able to represent his country on an international level and looks forward to competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is he’s selected, otherwise, he’s sure he’ll be at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. He feels closer to reaching this goal of his and he’s determined he’ll get there soon, no matter how hard he has to work for it.
Abdulaziz’s father, a Major General at the Ministry of Interior, and his mother, a molecular biologist, along with ACS International School Doha (ACS Doha) and his coach former Algerian swimming champion are his biggest supporters and continuously motivate him to excel in the world of swimming.
Abdulaziz is in his final year at ACS Doha, the school that has always supported him in his swimming endeavours and has always stood behind him as he swims from success to success. ACS Doha has given him the flexibility to travel internationally with the national team to compete in competitions during academic school days and allows him to take his classes and his exams later, if he is out of the country. Abdulaziz and his parents appreciate the support provided to him by ACS Doha which genuinely believes that sport is an integral part of an active and happy life at school and at home.
After he graduates next year, Abdulaziz plans on going for his further studies abroad. He believes swimming has helped him prepare for the future because of the way he trains and sets goals for himself. The swimming techniques that he uses and continuously strives to improve require not just physical strength but also the strength of the mind.
His passion for swimming and his academics keep him focussed. He has participated in many championships and has represented Qatar since he was 12. He has already swum in the World Cup, World Championships, GCC Championships, Arab Championships, Asian Games, Asian Age Group Championships and the World Junior Championships 2018 in Buenos Aires. His favourite competition is the Asian Age Group Championships that was held in India in October 2019. He has more than 30 medals to date and looks forward to many more.
For Abdulaziz, breaking records is more important that getting medals. If he loses a race, he doesn’t let it deter him. He focuses more on his weak points, e.g. he changes his tactics before the race and he increases and changes the style of his training to build more stamina.
Abdulaziz doesn’t get a lot of free time, but when he’s not studying, training or jetting off to other countries to represent Qatar in competitions, he likes to hangout with his family or play football and video games like FIFA with his friends.
GCC swimming championships 2015 – 2019 (12 Gold medals, 2 Silver medals and 4 Bronze medals)
Even though Abdulaziz has so many achievements in the world of swimming, he is very humble and feels shy talking about his status as a professional swimmer in Qatar who is part of the national team. In the school, he is a role model for the other kids, especially in terms of goal setting. In fact, ACS has used Abdulaziz as an example when it comes to training other young athletes in the school for different competitions and then they apply it to the school as well. That message is an easy link for kids, especially when they look at Abdulaziz and see what he’s achieved at such a young age.
Abdulaziz's message to emerging sportsmen is to have passion and set a goal which they can work on in order to reach that goal.
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