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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
was assisted by his strong family and his great determination which saw him make
“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.”