Kamal Mammadov is the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the IBSA Judo Grand Prix Baku 2023 and without him the event would have not reached its level. Despite a recent injury, he spent the preceding days speeding around the venue in his wheelchair, with a big smile on his face.
Kamal Mammadov

"I feel proud, happy and am with a lot of strength. Of course I'm very tired but I don't care as this event gave me a lot of energy. I broke my foot two days ago and the doctor told me to rest, to stay at home, to not move around, but how is that possible when you have such huge organisational tasks going on? Really I don't pay heed. I wanted to be here and here I am.

I remember that some weeks ago I told to my staff that they could not be sick or tired and that they had to be focused on the IBSA grand prix. I couldn't miss it. This is my best therapy. You know, I love my job, it makes me happy and that is all that matters. It is the third grand prix that we have organised. We also did the IBSA world championships.

I have a wonderful team with ten members from 20 to 29 years old. They are all great professionals. We have been together for four years and they are very good at their jobs. My legs are not working and so they are my legs. I am not speaking other langages, like English, Japanese or Spanish, so they are my langages too. With them, I don't have any challenges because we are ready to overcome them together; I really have that feeling."

An event like the grand prix has a big influence over society, "When I became physically challenged and I had to use a wheelchair, there were people saying that I was not necessary. I want to prove them wrong and I do that everyday of my life.

Kamal Mammadov and his daughter, Sabina, who is a member of his team

People with disabilities, they know the real meaning of life. That is why we use our jobs, sports and art, so we feel that we can and we actually do bring something to society. It is our reason to live. Why do we do all this? Simply, because we can and that's an important message for people to understand."

Disabilities can be multiple, but the energy spread by Kamal Mammadov makes us understand that there are no limits, "Imagine you are blind like all these athletes. You don't see the environment or the people in it, but you feel it. If people do good things for you, you feel it and you can see that person as someone beautiful with a beautiful face. If you are in a wheelchair like me and you enter a room, if people are acting badly, you feel it. You feel unnecessary and ugly. If people are good to you, you feel good, that is simple.

It doesn't matter if people are blind or in a wheelchair. What matters is that we all have our own lives and we should put colours in them. I can not walk, but I want to fly and I will fly, this is my motto."

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