‘It’s Crazy to Think I’m Still Here:” Following Suicide Attempt, Abdelrahman El-Araby Shares Emotional Post-Victory Speech

Abdelrahman El-Araby; Photo Courtesy: Luke Jamroz Photography

‘It’s Crazy to Think I’m Still Here:” Abdelrahman El-Araby Shares Emotional Post-Victory Speech

The swim by Abdelrahman El-Araby Wednesday night in the 50 freestyle at the ACC Championships was special for many reasons.

He went from sixth in the morning prelims in 19.22 to winning in 18.79, besting a star-studded field. Twice a silver medalist and once winning bronze in this event, the fifth-year junior from Egypt finally got over the hump to get his gold.

But the journey means much more to El-Araby, who also competes under the name Haridi Sameh or Abdelrahman Sameh. El-Araby missed NCAAs last year after a suicide attempt in early March left him in a coma.  With the help of his support system, he’s returned to be on top of his game this year, and he’s hoping to use his struggles to inspire others.

“If it means anything to anybody, it’s okay to fall,” an emotional El-Araby said. “It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to lose the battle just don’t lose the war. I lost the battle last year, and this one is for everyone who lost the battle.”

El-Araby detailed his ordeal in an Instagram post last May.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Abdelrahman Elaraby (@haridiiii)

The native of Cairo has represented Egypt internationally, including setting an African record in a short-course relay. He’s been a big part of Louisville’s recent success, since redshirting as a freshman in 2018-19. He won silver at ACCs in the 50 in 2020 before NCAAs was cancelled that year by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, he placed 17th at NCAAs in the 100 free and 26th in the 100 free, including the anchor leg of the 200 free relay that earned the Cardinals the program’s first NCAA relay championship.

El-Araby was a big part of the Louisville team before his season was cut short last year. He finished second in the 50 free (18.83), sixth in the 100 fly and ninth in the 100 free at ACCs in 2022.


The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.

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