The 41st General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees will be held in the resort city of Eilat in early December.
The conference, which will summarize the 2012 London Games and discuss preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics, will be attended by delegations from 49 countries, heads of the International Olympic Committee, athletes and journalists.
A total of 400 representatives of National Olympic Committees and 300 other attendees are expected to arrive from abroad.
According to Eilat Deputy Mayor, “The conference, which will create a huge amount of exposure for Eilat, will last three days, but the guests are arriving for five days in which they will enjoy a series of events, including parties and tours.”
President Peres told the members of the Israeli delegation: “It is a victory of the spirit, it is a triumph of the soul.”
PM Netanyahu told delegation members: ” You represent the Israeli spirit at its best.”
Gershony, a former Apache helicopter pilot, was paralyzed in a crash during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Gershony also won a bronze medal in the Paralympics’ doubles tournament, along with fellow countryman Shraga Weinberg
In a very successful day, the Israeli delegation to the 2012 London Paralympic Games claimed three medals Wednesday: Sharpshooter Doron Shaziri and hand-cyclist Koby Lion each won a silver medal, while tennis players Noam Gershony and Shraga Weinberg won the bronze medal.
Hand-cyclist Lion finished his first 8-kilometer race in the men’s individual H1 time trial in a time of 18:45.21 minutes, and his second 8-kilometer race in 17:41.65 minutes, ranking second overall after his Irish competitor Mark Rohan in 35:53.30 minutes.
Sharpshooter Shaziri reached the finals in the first place position and accumulated 95.4 points in the deciding stages, losing to his Swedish rival Jonas Jakobsson.
Tennis players Weinberg and Gershony beat Japanese pair Shota Kawano and Mitsuteru Moroishi in the quad doubles 6:3, 6:1, winning the bronze medal. The two have also reached the semi-final in the quad singles, where they will compete against each other.
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat congratulated the Paralympic delegation in London for its impressive achievements. “This is dreamlike day for our athletes in London and an excellent day for Israeli sports,” she said.
“They are not only talented athletes, but people with a huge heart, mental strength and a great desire to succeed and prove that nothing can stop them. I am proud of them and salute them.”
Israeli swimmer Inbal Pezaro won her second bronze medal at the London Paralympics on Saturday after coming in third in the 200-meter freestyle heat, stopping the clocks at 2:56.11 minutes. Swimmer Izhak Mamistvalov claimed his own bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle heat, in a time of 4:58.53 minutes.
On Thursday, Pezaro took home Israel’s first medal at the London Paralympic Games in the 50-meter freestyle heat, timing 37:89 seconds.
This year, Israel will send a delegation of 25 athletes to represent their home country in a variety of nine different Paralympic sports. This past month, these athletes met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who encouraged them to build on their 2008 success of winning six medals in Beijing.
“What you demand of yourselves, nobody demands of you,” the PM told the delegation. “I hope that you bring home medals – but from my point of view, you already have.”
Shalom Life proudly presents a list of all Israeli athletes competing at the Paralympic Games.
With Israel’s Olympic delegation now back in the country, the country’s medal hopes have turned to its Paralympic team, which flies to London on Wednesday, two weeks before the start of the games.
“We have a lot of spirit. We will do our best and try to return with the gold medal,” sailor Dror Cohen told Army Radio Wednesday. Cohen and his two sailing partners won gold at the games in 2008 in Beijing, and hope to repeat their achievement.
Hand-cyclist Nati Gruberg, who cited cyclist Lance Armstrong as his inspiration, said that making the competition was an achievement. After being injured in a motorcycle accident and spending two years in the hospital, Gruberg was ranked seventh in the world in hand-cycling.
The cyclist said he “was very proud to represent Israel,” especially since there were “no regular people” who cycled for the country at the Summer Games. “I will try to get the honors for everybody.”
On Tuesday team members met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wished them luck in the upcoming competition. Netanyahu told the athletes the two months with a cast on his leg helped him understand the difficulties of a physical handicap “just a little bit more.”
He couldn’t imagine the willpower and prowess they constantly had to call upon, he said, after he was forced to think twice about showering with his broken leg.
The Israeli delegation consists of 25 people, seven of them women, who are set to compete in nine sporting disciplines: sailing, wheelchair-tennis, sharpshooting, marathon, hand-cycling, table-tennis, swimming, riding and rowing.
Sharpshooter Doron Shaziri is one of the team’s more decorated members with six Paralympic medals.This summer he hopes to win his first Olympic gold. “It’s coincidence that I haven’t won gold at the Olympics yet,” he told the Israeli sporting site One. The same competitors attend every international competition, he said, noting that he won gold at the European and World championships.
The Ramat Gan resident was injured by a landmine at the age of 20 and had his leg amputated below the knee. Since then, Shaziri has won the European and World Championships, as well as multiple international medals.
At the ’96 Games in Atlanta he won two silver medals and in the following two Olympics he added three bronze and another silver to his shelf. “It’s a question of timing,” Shaziri said, of winning the ultimate prize. “You have to bring yourself to the peak at the right moment, and that’s what I’ve been training for.”
“You do amazing things and you act as role models,” Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat told the delegation. Livnat said her office was trying to increase its support of the Paralympic team, as Israel tries to bridge the gap between the able-bodied and disabled in all fields of life.
Because there are different levels of disabilities present at the game, the competition is divided into subcategories, determined by the severity of impairment the athlete has.
The 2012 London Paralympics will be the 14th time the Games are held. They will open on August 29 and close on September 9. Seats for the sporting events were already sold out, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
Source: Times of Israel