In the face of adversity, Korcan Bulut Özdemir, a 15-year-old swimmer from Bartın, has defied all odds, emerging as a shining star in Turkish swimming.
Despite battling epilepsy and having a specific learning disability known as dyslexia, Korcan’s determination and talent have propelled him to the Turkish championship level, where he now aspires to represent his country in international competitions.
Korcan’s journey began about three years ago under his mother, Tuğçe Kaplandeniz, who is also a swimming coach.
Diagnosed with dyslexia at 6 while undergoing treatment for epilepsy, Korcan discovered his passion for swimming, a sport that would become his outlet for growth and triumph.
Within a short span of time, he has garnered remarkable success, earning over 150 medals in regional and national tournaments.
Eight months ago, Korcan’s exceptional performance at the Special Athletes Sports Federation Swimming Türkiye Championship held in Antalya secured him seven first-place and two second-place finishes.
This impressive feat qualified him to participate in the national team development camp, marking a significant milestone in his career.
As he continues his training at the Semi-Olympic Indoor Swimming Pool in Ömertepesi, Korcan sets his sights on donning the iconic crescent-star swimsuit, representing his country with distinction in international competitions.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Özdemir expressed his heartfelt desire to qualify for the national team, highlighting his dedicated training regimen.
“I hope to meet the required standards for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, secure the first medal for special athletes, and proudly represent our province and our country,” Özdemir said.
Tuğçe Kaplandeniz, not only Korcan’s mother but also his trainer, reflects on the challenging journey they faced when her son was diagnosed with epilepsy during childhood.
She introduced swimming as a means for him to socialize and thrive, ultimately witnessing the tremendous positive impact it had on his health and well-being.
Kaplandeniz joyfully shared, “Thanks to swimming, my son’s condition has improved significantly. He has overcome various health-related challenges associated with his condition. Swimming has been our guiding light.”
Recognizing her son’s remarkable achievements in swimming, Kaplandeniz said, “He has brought the first Turkish championship title to our city. Our current goal is for him to join the national team, followed by winning medals in the European and world championships. Ultimately, our greatest aspiration is for him to secure a medal at the Paralympics. We are steadfastly working towards this goal.”
Kaplandeniz also emphasized that Korcan’s success has been a beacon of hope for other individuals with disabilities, inspiring them to pursue their dreams and overcome obstacles.