Karim Harik’s athleticism and dedication have earned him a new medal that adds to his impressive, ever-growing list of wins.
Karim Harik is a Lebanese runner and martial artist who has won several local and international championships over the course of his ongoing professional multisport career.
The roots of the 20-year-old LAU Business Administration student’s athletic run go back in time to when he started taking Karate classes at the young age of 5.
“By growing up and watching action and martial arts movies, I always wanted to be strong by becoming an athlete,” Harik, who is also a member of LAU‘s Track and Field team, told The961.
By the age of 11, the athlete had his 1st dan black belt, which he regards as one of the first achievements of his career. 6 years later, he took part in the Lebanese Kickboxing Cup and won 3rd place.
This was also around the time he won 1st place in the annual Beirut Marathon, in which he has participated numerous times over the years, supporting various local NGOs, including the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon and Ajialouna.
He has also ranked 1st in a variety of races in different cities and areas, both in Lebanon and around the world, including in Dubai, Cape Town, Taipei, Barcelona, and others.
As he worked to further hone his skills, Harik got involved in more races, marathons, and championships, locally and internationally, bringing home medals and rewards from different countries, including his own.
His first international martial arts competition was the WKU World Kickboxing Championship, held in Athens in 2018, where he won 2 bronze medals. He went on to win 2 more bronze medals in the same championship in 2019, in Bregenz, Austria.
Harik, who is an MMA and Kickboxing Brown Belt, won his most recent gold medal in the first International Pandemic Games, organized by the World Martial Arts Committee (WMAC) on Sunday, February 21st, where he came in 1st in Shadow Boxing, adult category.
In his view, winning this was “a great achievement for me and especially to Lebanon since I was the only Lebanese to participate and win in this competition,” he told us.
Also in February, Harik organized his own “Karim Harik 5k virtual race,” in which many international competitors participated.
Like many athletes in Lebanon and around the world, Karim Harik has faced some challenges during the ongoing pandemic, such as postponed tournaments and restrictive lockdowns.
“To keep my performance high, I was practicing kickboxing, strength and conditioning in private with my coaches and having social distancing in the gym,” he said.
“Sometimes I was training at home when there was lockdown. [Otherwise], I was running in Beirut streets.”
For Harik, one of the main motivators that help him keep training through these exceptional circumstances is competing in virtual competitions and races.
He is among the very few Lebanese to have participated in multiple virtual international races held recently.
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