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Anton Kol is a Ukrainian hero.

Ukrainian Paralympian

Anton won two bronze medals at the Rio Paralympic Games, two silver medals at the Tokyo Games. On August 24, 2023 at the Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester, Anton broke an 11-year-old record on his way to gold. Kol looked on in disbelief as he read the new world’s best time of 4:57.31 in the men’s 200m freestyle S1.

He is believing for two gold medals this summer at the Paris Games.

There’s a lot of heartache coming out of Ukraine because of the war. Along with the heartache there is a lot of hope.


Anton’s mother abandoned him at birth. He lived at a maternity hospital until the age of four and then he was transferred to an orphanage. He first got into a swimming pool when he was ten.

Ed Dickson with Loads of Love, says of his dear friend, “Anton tells the story of how, many years ago, some Canadians came to his orphanage and threw him in a pool to see if he could swim. Not true! We lowered him very nicely into a pool to see if he could swim. Oh and swim he did!”

He was inspired by swimming. “I realized – that’s it, it’s mine.” He swam whenever he had a chance and nearly drowned once. After that he was afraid to get into water for two months. But his desire to learn how to swim was stronger than that fear.

Anton had friends who were in the Paralympic movement and they gave him the phone number of a trainer. Swimming helped him at the most depressing moments when it seemed that everything was lost.

Anton says that when he’s in the water, he’s free, he can do anything, go anywhere.

Ed says, “This young man is going places.”

Golden Dreams

He graduated from an architecture university as a construction engineer and has been working in the industry for several years. In Dnipro there are several houses built based on his drawings.

“People often recognize me on the streets, in public transport, at shops. They say hello and thank me. It is very inspiring. These are the moments when you realize that someone is watching you, is your fan and supports you.”

In gearing up for Paris this summer he devotes most of his time to training camps. “I realize that it is a unique opportunity for personal fulfillment, to establish myself and to become someone.”

Here’s a young man to keep your eyes on this summer. August 28 – September 8, 2024.

Please leave a comment for Anton below.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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