Friday, May 11, 2012

Moran Samuel Moves More Than Boats

Last month at the Gavirate international rowing competition for disabled athletes in Italy, Israeli rower Moran Samuel won the the gold medal. For most medalists, their country's national anthem is played. However, since organizers apparently did not think Samuel would win the event, a recording of HaTikva (Israel's National Anthem) was not available. Upon hearing the wrong national anthem being played, Samuel began to shake her head and asked for a microphone. She then began to sing HaTikva. "If you look at an obstacle as an obstacle, there's a good chance it will knock you down," Samuel told Channel 2 news afterwards. "If you look at an obstacle as a challenge, then you'll do the maximum to overcome it. There can be small challenges, like the anthem and me taking the mic and singing, and there can be bigger challenges." Samuel became paralyzed at age 24 when she woke up with a rare stroke in her spine. Since then, she joined the National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team, before taking up rowing. She is seen as an inspiring and moving figure to many, and hopes to win a medal at the Paralympics this summer in London.

- Elan Kane

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