Six months after taking up the sport, a visually impaired man won a gold medal last month in a national weightlifting championship
Gökhan Taşpınar now aims to be a world weightlifting champion.
Taşpınar lives with his family in Altınordu district in northern Ordu province. Throughout his childhood he helped his parents harvest hazelnuts, an important agricultural product of the region, that they grow.He said that he has carried a countless number sacks, filled to the brim with hazelnuts, to the terrace of their house, which helped build up his body.
"Every year, I carry the hazelnuts that we have collected in sacks that weigh 50 kilograms to our home. I have been carrying hazelnuts since I was 17 or 18," Taşpınar said.
Taşpınar, 21, began taking part in sports activities at the Ordu Visually Impaired People's Sports Club when he started weightlifting.Just six months after he started, Taşpınar won a gold medal in the 100-kilogram category in last month's weightlifting championships in central Aksaray, organized by the Turkish Blind Sports Federation.
Taşpınar said he has visual loss of 90 percent and lives with difficulties. He said there are no weightlifting facilities in Altinordu, so he trains with his own means.
"I want a training place to realize my goals. I believe that I can improve myself better if there is a training place. In the future, I aim to be a world champion," he said.