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10 August 2012, 10:30 am
Heart And Soul Of Israel
Israelis in the fleet at Beijing 2008
Israelis in the fleet at Beijing 2008

London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition
Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain

Dror Cohen, Benny Vexler and Arnon Efrati have become the heart and soul of Israel's Paralympic Movement.
The trio won gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games but finished in a disappointing fifth place at the Beijing 2008 Games.

Most recently, the squad sailed to gold at the 2011 World Championships in Weymouth at the same venue where the London 2012 competition will be held.

It has now been 20 years since Cohen, then a 24-year-old fighter pilot cadet, lost his legs after being flung out of an army vehicle. Vexler and Efrati each lost an arm in the first Lebanon War and the Yom Kippur War, respectively.

All three members of the team have established a precedent to allow athletes with impairment in Israel to compete in more extreme sports. They learned how to sail on their own and worked hard enough to not just reach a world-class level, but to also win at that level.

They are now aiming to reclaim the top prize at London 2012 eight years after standing atop the Paralympic Games podium for the first time.

Disabled Sailing London 2012 Paralympic Website

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