Former Aussie named Honorary President of Israel’s Paralympic Committee

February 14, 2020 by Henry Benjamin
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Andrew Danos will accompany the Israeli Paralympic delegation in all events and competitions from now until the Tokyo 2020 Games as the newly-named Honorary President of the Paralympic Delegation.

Deputy World Champion rower Moran Samuel, athlete Ahiya Klein, who lost his eyesight during Operation Protective Edge, Andrew Danos and the world’s 20th-ranked tennis player Adam Berdichevsky

The 34-yr-old from Melbourne went to Israel five years ago to study for his MBA at Tel Aviv University and decided to after completing the course.

His grandfather David Mandie was the founder of Duty Free store group James Richardson.

Andrew has never competed in a Maccabiah but his father and brother have. He said: My grandfather was the patron of the Australian team for the 1997 and 2001 games.”

He attributes lessons from his grandfather as creating his interest in disabled sports. He said: “He always taught us that one must give back to the community when in a position to do so. He also had the philosophy that the ingredients to excel in life was health, education and sport. It is in these three areas that we focus our community efforts, especially for those less privileged.

Though my participation in disabled sports over the years, I have come to understand what an opportunity sport can play in advancing one’s life.  One story stands out in my mind, was meeting a young wheelchair tennis player from South Africa named Evans Maripa. He told me how he had lost his legs at a young age. He explained that from where he came from this usually guaranteed life of begging on the street. However, the discovery of tennis gave him the opportunity to escape this kind of life. This kind of story motivates me every day.”

The Chairman of the Paralympic Committee, Dr. Shuki Dekel, thanked Danos.  He said: “We are very proud of our young Honorary President and delighted that he will accompany us on this journey. We know the history of his Zionist family and appreciate its contribution to Jewish sports in Israel and Australia. I’m sure that Andrew will lead our athletes to impressive achievements.

James Richardson Duty Free will be the major sponsor of the Israeli Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020”

The next few months will determine the assembly of the Israeli delegation for the Paralympic Games. 18 athletes have already secured their place in Tokyo. The size of the delegation will be similar to the size of the one which went to Rio, of about 30 athletes. This time, about half of them are women.

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