Sports lovers across the country are eager to see their favourite teams and athletes in action again. If there’s one thing South Africa has no shortage of, it is an abundance of sporting talent, and supporters who love to see them in action.
One of these talented athletes is Obed Lekhehle. Obed left people across the globe speechless with his high-jump heroics. A video of him competing and clearing the bar doesn’t sound like anything too wild, but when you see that he has only one leg, it’s truly incredible. Needless to say, the video went viral very quickly.
Competing in the T42 category at the 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships, Lekhehle bounced towards the bar and sailed over it. His stunning efforts got him a silver medal at the Championships, which took place in Nottwil, Switzerland.
Lekhehle lost his leg in 2008 when he was just eight years old after he was hit by a vehicle. He has excelled in both the high jump and long jump events, and in 2017 he set a South African record when he broke the national under 18 high jump record. That same year he was awarded the Let’s Play Sports Star of the Year of SuperSport and Express.
As we all have personal experiences of how the pandemic has affected us, Obed shared with us how this has had an impact on his career. Athletes spend most of their time exercising to stay in shape and sharpen their talent. Lockdown meant no gym for Obed, but he was not going to let that set him back. Instead, he has set himself a home workout routine.
The Toyota National Championship event is among those that Lekhehle could not partake in as they were postponed. Hopefully, when this pandemic has passed and sporting events take place once again, we will see our Champ in action.
Currently a Graphic Design student at Boston City Campus and Business College, Obed began practicing athletics at age 14 when he was in high school. When asked why he’d selected this particular sport, he said that this was a place of happiness for him and meant he could always be active. His hobbies include playing snooker and football.
With a supportive family and people like Janus Fourie, his high school coach, Obed explains how this has shaped him to be who he is today.
Obed is a true example that when we do what makes us happy, we are more likely to excel and be motivated to keep going, even through hardships.
When asked about plans, Lekhehle confidently answers that he plans to get better and better. “Those who don’t jump will never fly” he stated. Simply put, he explained, it means that often nothing comes from doing nothing.
“ Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”
~Roy T. Bennett
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