BP is proud to sponsor one of its paralympic ambassadors Ilham Zakiyev in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. The video made by BP featuring Ilham on his road to Rio has had more than 2 million views since the recent release.
Ilham’s partnership with BP dates back to 2012 London Olympic Games from which he returned with a bronze medal. He also represented BP as its athlete ambassador during the 2015 Baku European Games and won a gold medal. In 1999, Ilham was felled by a sniper’s bullet during the Karabakh conflict with neighboring Armenia. As a result he completely lost his eyesight.
To the big 18-year-old, it felt as if he had lost everything. His depression was profound yet he found new energy within, a new reason to hope, thanks to his love for sport and love for his country. He returned to the sport but as a Paralympic. Ilham is the holder of a 6-dan black belt. He won gold medals during the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Games in the +100 kg category. He is a five-time European champion and a two-time world champion. In 2008, he received the Shohrat (Honour) Order for his great contribution to the development of the Azerbaijani sport. We are very proud of our athlete ambassador and wish him good luck in the upcoming Games in Rio!