Growing up in Doha, Qatar, amongst a family of athletic enthusiasts, Mutaz Essa Barshim was always likely to pursue a life as an athelete. Inspired by his father, he initially followed in his footsteps and competed in race-walking, endurance running and long jump events, before at the age of fifteen switching to the high jump and truly coming into his own.
Commenting on his journey, Mutaz said: “For outsiders looking in, when someone reaches any form of success the accomplishment may seem to have been achieved overnight. However, in almost all cases, a process and accumulation of efforts led the person to the top. This rings very true for my own personal journey, I am grateful to have achieved so much, and my successes have been many years in the making.”
Since winning his first junior gold medal, he has won title after title, culminating in being crowned champion at the World Indoor Championships in 2014, He is the 8th man in history to clear 2.40m, and in 2014 became one of only four athletes to clear 2.43m.
Most recently, Mutaz was nominated as a finalist for the athlete of the year award, and supported Qatar’s successful bid to host the IAAF World Championship in 2019. His advice to any fans or aspiring young achievers: “People will always have dreams but you need to be able to adjust dreams as you go, always strive for success in whatever you do.”
To stay up to date with the inspirational Mutaz follow him on Facebook and Twitter.