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Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Israeli swimmer wins bronze at Paralympic Games

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Israel's President Shimon Peres greeted Inbal Pizaro before they left for Beijng, August 2008. [Michal Fattal/Flash90 photo]

LONDON — Israeli swimmer Inbal Pizaro won a bronze medal Aug. 30 in the 50-meter freestyle race at the London Paralympic Games, clocking in at 37.89 seconds. It marks the sixth medal in Pizaro’s career—she won two medals in the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 and another three in Beijing in 2008.

The Paralympics opened Aug. 29 with nearly 4,300 athletes from 166 countries competing in 20 different events. Israel sent 25 athletes as part of its delegation to the games, according to Israel Hayom.

With the bronze, Pizaro enabled Israel’s Paralympic team to eclipse the Jewish state’s Olympic team, which failed to medal this year for first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Since the inaugural Paralympics in Rome in 1960, the Israeli delegation has now won 365 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.”
 

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