Abbas Karimi was born without arms but that hasn't dampened his ambition to win a gold medal for swimming in the next Paralympics.
If he gets the support he needs the teenager will be the first Afghan to represent his county as a swimmer in the next games, due to take place in Brazil in 2014.
"I urge people to support me so I can participate in world Paralympics games. I would like to achieve a medal for my country. I also want to be a symbol for those who are disabled like me," said Karimi during a break from a training session in the pool.
Decades of conflict, poverty and neglect have prevented a large number of disabled Afghans from pursuing sport.
They are often unemployed, face victimisation and discrimination in a society where disability is perceived as a weakness.
Karimi is also learning English at the Star Educational Society in Kabul.
Abbas, whose father sells cars in Kabul, comes from a large family. He has five brothers and five sisters but he is the only one to be born with a disability.
As a child he says he was supported by his parents but as he has become more confident in his own abilities, his philosophy - if you want something you can get it - appears to be paying dividends.