Valdorienne Nadine Ogonowski arrived in Perth, Australia earlier this week to compete in the 2023 World Transplant Games.
The grand event is modeled after the Olympic Games, except that medals are not the main source of motivation. Since all the athletes present are transplant recipients, the event is a big party, a celebration of life.
Abidibiyan, now 68, has undergone two kidney transplants, the first in 1993 and the second in 2013.
We are all here for the same story, she underlines. We all went through something difficult, we survived and waited for a transplant. Thanks to a person, a donor, with an unnecessary gesture, gave his organ, which gives us a chance to live. It’s a big party and we march in our costumes. Yes, we compete, but we are a family.
This year, the event is spread over a week. 46 countries are represented, with over 1400 athletes, coaches and companions competing.
Nadine Okonowski is competing in her fourth World Transplant Games. This time, he will try to reach the podium in four events – golf, bowling and javelin – in singles and doubles.
When I was in school, I was good at javelin, but I didn’t invest in sports. I started training at Parc Saint-Joseph when I saw that it was possible at the Games. I threw the spear and my dog brought it back to me!laughs Mrs. Okonowski.
The youngest athlete to compete in the event is a 4-year-old boy and the oldest is 82 years old.
The opening ceremony will take place on Sunday and the following day, Nadine Okonowski will play a double for the Scottish team at the golf course.
– Text by Marc-Olivier Thibaut
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