Mohamed Lahna was born in Casablanca, Morocco with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency, leaving him without a femur in his right leg. As a young child, his mobility was limited by crutches or foam inserts made by a shoe cobbler. Despite his situation, Mo would seek inspiration from the world of professional sports and Olympic competition. At the age of 23, Mo was fitted with a real prostheses by a notable French prosthetist in town. Shortly after that, the prosthetist invited him along with 4 other young men on a 500 km cycling trek across the Atlas Mountains. This was the first time Mohamed felt freedom and joy in his life. The connection he felt with his bike, body, and community was real.
Mohamed can swim faster, ride further and run incredible distances as an Ironman and Paralympian, and he does it all with the use of a prosthetic leg. His athletic accomplishments are filled with “firsts” – The first African challenged athlete to swim across the Gibraltar; the first right limb different athlete in the world to finish the 6-day, 6-marathon event, Marathon des Sables; the first African para triathlete to finish Ironman Kona and Norseman; and the first Paralympian paratriathlon bronze medalist representing Morocco.
Mo would also compete in several Olympic distance events internationally on the World Paratriathlon Series, eventually becoming a regular podium winner. He took home the silver medal in 2010 in Beijing, and became bronze medalist in the men’s PTS2 Category in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, representing his home country, Morocco. Unfortunately, in Tokyo 2020, his triathlon category was cut and he made the difficult choice of transitioning into para-cycling and once again, had the opportunity to represent Team Morocco.
He is excited to have the opportunity to represent Team USA in 2022 and beyond. The PTS2 Category was officially announced back in the schedule in Paris 2024.
Mo enjoys connecting with fellow athletes and people around the world to pursue an active lifestyle as he helps them to look beyond apparent limitations or barriers. He, along with two other challenged athletes, started a foundation called Lowest Highest Foundation which aims to inspire others with physical differences to find ways to adapt and reach beyond what is in their mind and bodies. The three friends hope to send this message globally as they make their way from the lowest point to the highest peak of each continent. So far, they have completed cycling through South America with a final hike to ascend the top of Mount Aconcagua and aim to complete the African continent with Mount Kilimanjaro early next year.
Mohamed is well known for his curiosity and willingness to ask for help. He views every task, every activity and every challenge as an opportunity to set a goal, to try something new and to achieve. In 2016, Mohamed joined Team Össur and with the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation (Team CAF) has mentored and trained amputees at running and mobility clinics across the country.
“We can do more than we ever imagined if we just dare ourselves to push a little harder, go a little further.” - Mohamed Lahna