A young Hungarian boxer, who was born deaf, has against the odds booked his ticket to the Beijing Olympics.
Norbert Kalucza, 21, one of seven children born into a poor gypsy family from Debrecen, eastern Hungary, will compete along with the world's best in the flyweight category this summer.
Suffering from congenital deafness like most of his family members, Kalucza did not learn to speak until the age of 10.
But once he pulled on his gloves as a child his world changed as he overcome his first hurdle by voicing his first words shortly after entering the ring.
"It was the former Olympic bronze medalist Janos Varadi who discovered Norbert's talent," said his mother, Marie.
Varadi, who is a neighbor of the family, won a bronze medal in the flyweight division at the 1980 Olympics.
And he helped the young Kalucza obtain the necessary medical certificates to pursue his passion despite his disability.
Kalucza, thanks to his lethal right punch, collected medals at junior level, winning the Hungarian junior title in 2005, before moving up to senior level where he had equal success winning the -51 kg in 2006 and -54kg last year.
By booking his ticket to the Beijing Olympics thanks to his victory over Germany's Marcel Schneider, Kalucza has "achieved a dream," even if his celebrations were somewhat tempered by his stringent training program and diet.
"I weigh 57kg and have to go down to 51kg for competitions. If I didn't have to follow this diet I would win the gold medal," Kalucza said.
He says his dream is to emulate his hero "Koko" -- Hungary's former Olympic champion and professional boxer Istvan Kovacs -- won won bronze in the flyweight category at the 1992 Olympics before taking bantamweight gold in 1996.
The modest young boxer reluctantly admits that he has become an example for the young people of his town.
And his mother, Marie, and father, Joseph, are convinced that their son -- a carpenter by profession -- is someone who can make his mark on the world.
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