Israel’s Paralympic Swim Team – A Source of Pride

The Israeli swim team has shown remarkable results in the paralympic games in Tokyo  and won 8 medals yotal – 6 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze! 
Ilyad Shalabi who was born deaf and became paralyzed in his lower body after falling off the roof at the age of 12, won gold in the  50 -meter and 100-meter backstroke. 
Ami Dadaon, who has cerebral palsy, won silver in the 150-meter individual medley. 
Mark Malyar, who also has cerebral palsy, won gold in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter freestyle event. He also set two world records! 
We could not be more thrilled about these amazing results!
The Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to serve as the medical sponsor of Israel’s Paralympic swim team. Within the framework of the sponsorship, the hospital helped prepare the team for the Tokyo Paralympics and is providing medical accompaniment throughout the competition.
After the disappointment of not being able to compete last year because of COVID-19, the swim team is especially excited and honored to be representing Israel in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. The games follow an impressive year of achievements, during which the team set Israeli, European, and world records (the latter set by Mark Melier and Ami Dadaon). 
In preparation for the Tokyo Games, the team underwent grueling training and participated in many international competitions, such as the World Series in Berlin and the European Championship in Portugal. 
A challenging task
Medical sponsorship of professional athletes is a challenging task that involves a significant investment of resources. It entails the provision of medical treatment and consultations by multidisciplinary professionals who specialize in sports medicine and sports injuries. As part of the sponsorship, swimmers undergo regular examinations and treatments at the Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital, including orthopedic evaluations, relevant imaging tests, blood tests, general assessments by rehabilitation physicians, and physiotherapy. 
                                                                                                                                                                          The director of the hospital’s rehabilitation division, Prof. Rafi Heruti says, “The goal of our medical accompaniment framework is for the athletes to arrive at their competitions in the best physical, mental, and nutritional state.”
Not just sports
“We are proud to be the medical institution that provides quality guidance, advice, and care to such professional, impressive, and outstanding athletes. We consider ourselves privileged to be part of such an important branch of Israeli sports. The team’s swimmers are role models for the entire Israeli society, teaching us an important lesson on willpower, perseverance, and the human ability to overcome limitations and turn them into a lever for excellence. This is also the essence of our work at the hospital – to realize the rehabilitative potential of each patient and to enable him/her to realize his/her abilities in an optimal manner. On behalf of everyone at Reuth, we wish the team every success in Tokyo and are confident that they will excel,” says Dr. Orit Stein Reisner, the director of the Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital.  
Meet a couple members of the team
Mark Malyar is the 2021 European Champion, the 2019 World Champion, and a holder of world records. 
“My twin brother Ariel (who is also on the swim team) and I were both born with cerebral palsy. From a young age, we have been taking swimming lessons and were taught not to give up on ourselves. My motivation is high and I work hard because I know it will pay off and I will improve my results.” – Mark Malyar  
Erel Halevi is the silver medalist of the 2021 European Championship 
“At the age of 11, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I went from being a girl who could run to a girl who was paralyzed. If I had the opportunity to turn back time, I would not do it. I would not be the Erel I am today and certainly not the athlete I am today if it wasn’t for my disability.” – Erel Halevi
We are proud to be the medical sponsors of such an accomplished team. We wish them luck and have no doubt that they will succeed!