Wheelchair-bound former pilot wins Paralympics gold for Israel in tennis

Click photo to download. Caption: Tennis player Noam Gershony is awarded a gold medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London. Credit: YouTube screenshot.(JNS.org) Israeli tennis player Noam Gershony won a gold medal at the London Paralympics on Sept 8, marking the Jewish state’s seventh medal of this year’s competition and its first gold. Israel’s last Paralympics gold came in 2004 in Athens.

The Israeli defeated American David Wagner—considered to be the world’s top wheelchair tennis player—6-1, 6-3.

Gershony, 29, began playing wheelchair tennis only 18 months ago. Previously an Israeli Air Force helicopter pilot, he was injured in the Second Lebanon War. “It was a miracle I survived,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth. “That moment I decided I won’t waste my life and will try to do my best in the area I love. But I never imagined I would get to the Paralympics and pick up a gold medal. Hearing Hatikvah play and seeing the Israeli flag fly high—I can’t describe this feeling.” 

Watch video footage of Gershony’s medal ceremony on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmbjEG9K5io&feature=player_embedded#

Posted on September 11, 2012 .