Hearing-impaired man overcomes obstacles to become champion

Hearing-impaired man overcomes obstacles to become champion

İdris Emen-CİZRE
Hearing-impaired man overcomes obstacles to become champion

Hearing-impaired Sinan Sadak has overcome obstacles to become a successful wrestler, winning another gold medal at the latest World Deaf Championship held in Istanbul earlier this month.

Selected at the National Deaf Wrestling Team at the age of 16, Sadak has claimed the world champion title three times already.

Born in 1995 in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Cizre district and the fourth one out of his six siblings, Sadak lost his hearing due to an ear infection when he was just 9 years old.

Sadak took up a job as a shoe polisher at the age of 10 to financially support his family while showing interest in boxing.

In his spare time from school and polishing shoes, he took boxing training. At that time, a wrestling coach in Cizre approached Sadak, encouraging him to focus on wrestling.

“We were practicing at the stadium for the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. He told me that he was teaching children wresting, saying, ‘If you practice, you will become a good wrestler,’” Sadak recalled.

“I accepted his offer and became part of the wrestling team.” Sadak was still polishing shoes while he was on the wrestling team.

He trained with the same coach, Levent Kaleli, for two years. Sadak drew attraction at a championship in Ankara and signed with the Kızılcahamam Sports Club when he was 16.

“I stopped polishing shoes after joining Kızılcahamam,” Sadak said.

He had communication problems with trainers because of his hearing disability. “My trainers told me that during the competition they were instructing me, but I didn’t follow. They asked me if I had problems with them. Then I explained to them that I cannot hear well.”

Following tests, it became clear that Sadak’s hearing loss was a permanent one. Sadak then joined the National Deaf Wrestling Team.

“I became world champion in 2014, 2016 and 2018. And in the World Deaf Wrestling Championships held in Istanbul between July 3 and July 3, I won the gold medal,” Sadak said.

He has also claimed the European championship title three times.

Cizre welcomed his success with billboards reading, “He is a world champion.”

Sadak is now aiming to win yet another gold medal at the 24th Summer Deaflympics to be held in Brazil in 2022.

“Wrestling is not popular where I was born. I became a wrestler because my coach encouraged me. Just like my coach, I want children there to love this sport and help them become champions,” Sadak said.