BEIJING – A Palestinian Olympic swimmer has declared he will not “breathe the same air” as the Israeli athletes. This is not the first anti-Israel statement coming from the 29th Olympiad. Earlier, an Iranian swimmer dropped out of the Games because he would not compete in the same event with an Israeli.
But Olympian Ahmed Khaleed has taken a different approach. “Why should I punish myself?” he asked. “Why should I allow the Zionist occupiers to deprive me of winning medals? I am perfectly capable of competing with the Zionists, without having to share the surrounding air with them.”
The Chinese government provided an oxygen tank and breathing apparatus for Khaleed to use at night and during off-hours, but Olympic regulations forbid their use during competition.
This didn’t stop Khaleed, however, who said he would simply take a deep breath from his oxygen tank prior to the start of each event, and hold it until he was done.
And held it he did. In a remarkable feat of endurance, Khaleed completed half a lap of the 400 meter free-style, without taking a single breath.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one of the Palestinian officials who recovered Khaleed from the bottom of the pool. “He was competing with the best swimmers in the world. While the rest of them would turn heir heads to catch a breath of air, this incredible athlete was able to traverse an entire 50 meters inhaling nothing but a lungful of water – all the while bringing worldwide attention to the illegal Zionist occupation of Palestine.”
An unconscious Khaleed was brought to the surface and laid out poolside, where he was given life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by the doctor from the Israeli team.
When Khaleed came to, he looked up and saw a Star of David dangling around the physician’s neck. He took a deep breath and exhaled.
“A Jewish Doctor!” he exclaimed. “Praised be Allah!”