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Noam Gershony leads proud Paralympians home

September 10, 2012 01:03

Gershony adds another honor to his ever growing list when he carries the Israel flag in the closing ceremony at the Olympics.

Noam Gershony

Noam Gershony 370. (photo credit:Razi Livnat)

A day after winning Israel’s only gold medal of the London Paralympics, Noam Gershony added another honor to his ever growing list when he carried the Israel flag in the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.

The 29-year-old Gershony, who became the first Israeli to claim a gold medal at the Paralympics since 2004 when he won the Quad wheelchair tennis tournament on Saturday, will return home with the rest of the delegation on Monday night and will receive a hero’s welcome at Ben-Gurion Airport.

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On Tuesday morning, the delegation will travel to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for an official reception with Shimon Peres.

The Israel delegation ended the Games with eight medals in total, one gold, two silvers and five bronzes.

Swimmer Inbal Pezaro won the blue-and-white’s first medal in the opening day of competition and returns home with three bronze medals to her name.

Gershony also won a bronze medal in the Quad wheelchair doubles tournament with Shraga Weinberg, while shooter Doron Shaziri and handcyclist Koby Lion each won silver medals with swimmer Itzhak Mamistvalov claiming a bronze.

However, the star of the show in the coming days will inevitably be Gershony, who overcame a long and arduous recovery process on the way to the gold after suffering severe injuries when his Apache helicopter crashed to the ground near Ramot Naftali during the 2006 Lebanon War.

Co-pilot Ran Yehoshua Kochva was killed, but Gershony recovered from life-threatening injuries with the help of many people along the way.

“Noam came to us with the clear goal of leaving the hospital rehabilitated,” said Dr. Gabi Zeilig, head of the Department of Neurological Rehabilitation at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer.

“He simply came to work hard and not give up.

“He was assisted by his strong family and his great determination which saw him make impressive progress.

“Noam is composed and focused. His way of dealing with the injury and the recovery process was amazing.

“He learned to get the maximum out of his body.”
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