A bomb buried in the ground could have destroyed the life of soldier Temo Dadiani, Dover Adult Learning Center (DALC) ESL student from the country of Georgia. In 2011, after four months participating in an international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, Dadiani stepped on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). During the explosion, he lost both of his legs above the knees. From there, he began his struggle for physical and emotional rehabilitation – a long process, which required a lot of willpower to overcome pain, limitations and depression.
“I was reborn,” says Dadiani when remembering everything he has gone through since that moment. Was that easy? Of course not. Dadiani underwent 28 surgeries in Germany and was later sent to the United States where he spent almost three years at the US Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, for rehabilitation, prosthetics and physical therapy.
Today, married to Nini Okromtchedlidze and father of little Noe, Dadiani is a para-athlete and an example of overcoming obstacles. Since he started competing, he has collected many medals and success stories, including in New Hampshire, joining the sled hockey team at UNH, where he is currently studying for a master’s degree in Recreation Management and Policy with the Adaptive Sports Option.
At the same time, Dadiani has also been committed to overcoming another obstacle, that is, to improve his proficiency in English. For this, he chose DALC as a partner, where his wife also takes ESL classes, while their son is in daycare at the school. “My whole family has benefited from an excellent experience at DALC. Here we not only learn grammar, but the teachers help us to adapt to everyday life in the US. And the whole program also allows us to make valuable social connections,” he says.
Despite, perhaps even because of, all the challenges he has faced, Dadiani concludes, “Life is good.”
Some of Dadiani’s achievements
- Two times Planche Push-up Guinness World Record Holder (2014 and 2015)
- ● Three times Georgian National Champion for Wheelchair Fencing
- 4 Gold and 5 Silver Medals in World Para-Arm wrestling
- Two times Nordic Skier in the Paralympic Games (2018 and 2022)
- 1 bronze for Powerlifting
- 5 Golds, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze medal, 2020 Marine Corps Games (took part in 7 sports)
- UNH Sled Hockey Team – Northeast League Champions, New England Regional Champions, Competing in the National Championships