Heinrich Popow — Seize the challenge

I am often asked why I chose to be a sprinter, of all things, instead of, say, a shot putter. That’s exactly the point: I don’t run although I’m missing a leg. I run because I’m missing a leg. This may sound banal, but it’s so important to me as well: Accept your challenge – and try to make the best of it. Everything can be an opportunity if you can only recognise it. That’s what “Seize the Challenge” means for me.

Sure, it sounds so easy now, but it wasn’t always like that. That’s why I dedicate a large amount of my time to visiting children and adolescents in hospital who are in a similar situation. I tell them: Don’t stop doing the things that are important to you because something bad has happened to you. Find a way to keep doing those things. When I pull up my trouser leg and show them my prosthesis, you can see their eyes starting to bulge. But then the message gets across and they see that everything is possible, even with a disability.