As a youngster growing up in Amman, Lawrence Fanous watched the Olympic Games in awe and dreamt that one day he would be able to compete.
Well last night the 30 year-old landed in Rio de Janeiro ahead of his history making appearance as the first Jordanian to take part in an Olympic Games triathlon.
The Arab champion has travelled thousands of miles over the past 18 months in a bid to make his dream come true, and despite missing out on automatic qualification, his consistent form and the impact that he has made on the sport ensured he would be added to the field by the sport’s governing body.
And he could barely contain his excitement as he arrived in the Olympic Village to a warm welcome from the rest of Team Jordan who touched down in Brazil two days earlier.
“It is everything I dreamt it would be,” Fanous, who is now based in England, said of his first impressions. “It is without doubt my biggest adventure and the one which all my previous adventures were ultimately aiming for. My dream is becoming a reality this week.
“I have been training hard at home and I am just looking forward to getting stuck in to the training here whilst trying to take it all in. It all feels so surreal.”
His arrival leaves just taekwondo ace Ahmad Abu Ghaush to complete the eight-member team across six sports. He is expected to arrive next week in preparation for his competition on August 18, which is ironically the same day that Fanous will aim for a top 30 finish in the triathlon.