France is celebrating a Malian migrant who miraculously scaled the wall of a building this past weekend to save a child that was dangling from a balcony.
In a viral video of the incident, Mamadou Gassama can be seen easily scaling five stories to reach the child in time. His swift thinking, and effortless movement, now has people calling him “Spiderman.”
Gassama, 22, met with French President Emmanuel Macron in a one-on-one meeting Monday after which Gassama received a gold medal from the French state for “courage and devotion.”
“I ran. I crossed the street to save him,” he told Macron. “When I started to climb, it gave me the courage to keep climbing.”
He added: “Thank God I saved him.”
Macron also rewarded Gassama with French nationality and a job as a firefighter. Gassama moved to in Italy in 2014 after more than a year in Libya, where he was arrested and beaten. He came to France to join his brother.
Speaking to CNN-affiliate BFM TV, Gassama said he had been in the neighborhood to watch a football match in a local restaurant when he saw the commotion.
“I like children, I would have hated to see him getting hurt in front of me. I ran and I looked for solutions to save him and thank God I scaled the front of the building to the balcony,” he said.