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August 31, 2012 8:29 am

Israel Sends 25 Athletes to London’s Paralympic Games

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu (center-left) and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (center-right) with Israel's Paralympic team. Photo: Culture and Sports Ministry.

The Paralympic Games opened in London on Aug. 29 with nearly 4,300 athletes from 166 countries competing in 20 different events. Israel is sending 25 athletes as part of its delegation to the games, Israel Hayom reported.

Israel’s Paralympic team is hoping for more success than Israel’s Olympic team, which failed to medal this year for first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Paralympic team’s prospects look promising—since the inaugural Paralympic games in Rome in 1960, the Israeli delegation has won 364 medals, including 122 gold.

Many of Israel’s athletes were disabled serving in the IDF. Before departing for the games, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the athletes and praised their determination, saying: “What you do does not compare to the efforts of other athletes, which are very great. What you are called upon to do is in a different sphere. What you demand of yourselves, nobody demands of you. You demand of yourselves and achieve things physically and, first and foremost, mentally.”

Among the Israeli medal hopefuls are swimmer Inbal Pizaro, sharpshooter Doron Shaziri, swimmer Itzik Mamistvalov, and tennis player Noam Gershony.

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