I'm Achmat Hassiem. I lost my leg to a great white shark. Now I’m a Paralympian competing in the 2016 Rio games and an advocate for shark conservation. AMA!
My short bio: Ten years ago, I met a great white shark who took part of my leg with her when we parted. That experience changed my life—for the better—by helping me get where I am today. At the 2012 Paralympics in London, I won a bronze medal for South Africa in the 100-meter butterfly. Now I’m getting ready to compete again in Rio de Janeiro.
I also work to save sharks. Since 2010, I’ve traveled the world advocating for shark conservation with The Pew Charitable Trusts. I’ve visited the U.N, the US Capitol, and have met with government leaders in countries across the globe. My next stop (after the Paralympics in Brazil) is closer to home: this fall I’m going to speak to government officials at CITES. They’re gathering to discuss global trade protections for endangered species—including thresher and silky sharks and mobula rays.
Edit: This was my first Reddit AMA, and it was pretty fun! Thanks for your questions, and don't forget to root for me (#sharkboy) in Rio!