Israeli-Arab swimmer Iyad Shalabi wins 1st Gold Medal for country at Tokyo Paralympics

August 26, 2021 by TPS
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Iyad Shalabi, an Israeli swimmer, made history Wednesday when he became the first-ever Israeli-Arab to win a gold medal at the Paralympics Games.

Iyad Shalabi in the pool, shortly after winning the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke final. Credit: Isaacson Foundation.

Shalabi came in first in the 100-meter backstroke with a 2:28.04 minutes record in Tokyo, winning Israel’s first gold.

Shalabi, 34 who comes from a Muslim family from Shfaram in the north, was born deaf and then later was paralyzed in his lower body following an accident at the age of 13.

He made history also as the first Israeli-Arab to receive a medal in the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

“You are a champion,” Tweeted President Isaac Herzog. “You moved us. You are a symbol of power. Proud of you for the gold medal. Well done!”

“A tremendous achievement!” declared Minister of Sports Chilli Tropper. “Iyad is an inspiring man, whose life is full of victories. And today another brilliant victory. Iyad was not frightened by the high expectations, aimed high and filled us all with great pride.”

Shalabi is one of the 33 athletes in 11 sports Israel sent to the Tokyo Games.

This last medal joins 375 Paralympic medals Israel has won, including 130 gold medals, placing it fifteenth on the list of medal-winning countries.


2 Responses to “Israeli-Arab swimmer Iyad Shalabi wins 1st Gold Medal for country at Tokyo Paralympics”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Great effort by this Swimmer. Well done

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    Great effort, well done.

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