April 3, 2019Thedreidel
While the United States wrestles with recent efforts to defund The Special Olympics, we are inspired by Israel’s commitment to these special athletes, while building bridges of tolerance and understanding between cultures and nations. That’s what The Special Olympics is all about. This is what Israel is all about. Please read this article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
Israel competed in four sports – judo, basketball, swimming and bowling, reaching the podium in each sport. It won 12 medals in swimming, seven in bowling, two in judo and one in basketball. Israeli judokas Peter Paltchik and Yael Arad will be at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday to welcome back the blue-and-white delegation to 2019 Special Olympics World Games.
After a week full of competitions in Abu Dhabi, the 25 Israeli Special Olympics athletes will return to home with 22 medals captured – four gold, six silver and 12 bronze.
Israel competed in four sports – judo, basketball, swimming and bowling, reaching the podium in each sport. It won 12 medals in swimming, seven in bowling, two in judo and one in basketball
The medal winners breakdown was as follows:
Gold – Guy Wartikowsky (1,500-meter Open Water Swimming), Daniella Paiuk (25-meter Backstoke), Avital Naveh (100-meter Individual Medley), Aran Bar-Peled and Shoshana Nadav (Unified Bowling).
Silver – Levav Barkan (Judo <80kg), Hana Duanis, Lin Kornhauser, Israel Nachzac and Din Ohayon (Unified Bowling Team), Pele Abudy (Bowling Singles and Unified Doubles), Team Israel (Basketball), Daniel Ben Assa (100-meter Freestyle Swimming)
Bronze – Avital Naveh (100-meter Backstroke), Gilad Kalishov (50-meter Freestyle Swimming and 4×50 Medley Relay), Daniel Ben Assa (200-meter Freestyle Swimming and 4×50 Medley Relay), Daniella Paiuk (25-meter Freestyle Swimming), Guy Wartikowsky (4×50 Medley Relay), Ela Zohar (4×50 Medley Relay), Dekel Bar Nir (Judo <100kg), Aran Bar-Peled (Bowling Singles), Pele Abudy, Tal Sharabi, Rhona Gill and Amnon Damari (Unified Bowling Team), Hana Duanis, Lin Kornhauser, Israel Nachzac and Din Ohayon (Unified Bowling Doubles)
Sharon Levy-Balanga, CEO of Special Olympics Israel was elated with the delegation’s success.
“The heart bursts with pride,” she said. “Our athletes fought hard in every competition and returned with exceptional achievements. Even when we were in an Arab country, almost completely cut off, we felt the embrace and love of the people of Israel and it was exciting and heartwarming. We will rest a little and immediately start training for the Berlin Olympics in four years.
“I hope that we managed to convey to the people of Israel even a little, the message that we as a society must empower athletes with special needs. Believe in their abilities, learn to recognize them and respect their skills.”
The Special Olympics included 7,500 athletes from 192 countries around the world, including Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Libya.
Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
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