You might think being labelled a three-time Olympian would be enough. The glory, the excitement and the honour of representing your country on a global stage with the world’s eye on you. But Hadia Hosny from Egypt is anything but your average athlete.
As Hosny makes her way to Tokyo 2020 for what will be her third Games, the 32-year-old is not just an Olympian, but also a Member of Parliament (MP) in Egypt on the Sport and Youth Committee. And it doesn’t stop there. Hosny is studying for a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Cairo, which she hopes to complete by 2022.
“I’ve been doing so many things, but I love whatever I’m doing and I love to succeed in it,” said the Egyptian.
“I give everything my best. I work hard, even if I’m not talented, but I just love to work hard. I love what I’m doing, whether it’s pharmacology or playing badminton, being a Member of Parliament, or coaching the kids or Paralympics. Whatever I’m into, I put no ends to my dreams,” beamed Hosny.
“At Beijing 2008, there was huge excitement for me. I qualified very late, just 10 days before the Olympic Games. This time around, it’s very, very special to me, because I’m representing Egypt as a player and as a Member of Parliament. So it’s a big responsibility,” Hosny said.
Being an elite athlete is a full-time job, but on top of this, Hosny has also taken on the role of being an MP since she was elected this year. Further, the MP from Cairo also finds time to coach children and in particular, young girls. Hosny is blazing quite a trail for women in sport in Egypt.
“I really feel proud to be able to impress the youth and be a role model for them to try harder to be able to reach their dreams,” she said.
“It’s really, really hard to manage my roles as a player and MP. It needs very good time management. I’ve been stressed the last few months, I had COVID-19 at the end of the Olympic race, which meant I couldn’t go to one of the tournaments,” said the 2020 Kenya International women’s doubles champion.
“Just training for the Olympics is not as easy as any training. I’ve been doing this for two years because of the delay to the Games. I have worked very hard to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in women’s doubles. We have made as the world No.40 pair. It’s already a great success to be in the Olympic Games for me and Egypt,” Hosny added.
Hosny’s journey to the delayed Games may have been truncated with the COVID-19 pandemic grinding a halt to tournaments and limiting travel but the Egyptian says she’s ready to give Tokyo 2020 her best.
“It has come after nine years of hard work,” she added, after missing out on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
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