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Paralympics: Triumphant homecoming for heroes

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When Israel\’s Paralympic delegation returned from London late Monday night, they were greeted by hundreds of flag-waving fans who crowded into Ben-Gurion International Airport\’s arrivals lounge. The athletes had only a few hours\’ sleep before answering an invitation from President Shimon Peres to meet him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sports Minister Limor Livnat at the President\’s Residence in Jerusalem Wednesday morning.
"You achieved the unbelievable and brought enormous pride to the people of Israel and real hope for the young generation," the president told them during the reception. "You are the gold, silver and bronze people of Israel. You are proof that a man is as great as his spirit is, the victory of the soul over the body."
Turning to Israel\’s gold medalist Noam Gershoni, Peres said: "Some of you fought in Israel\’s wars, but the real war is the one you fought internally, and you won it big. Noam, you told me that you didn\’t believe you would be a champion and arrived at tennis randomly. You showed us what wonderful boys and girls we have."
Netanyahu added: "You represent the best of the Israeli spirit, and the fact that you struggled and won moved everyone. We all watched – you were wonderful."
Gershoni replied for the athletes, saying: "I want to thank the president and prime minister for their support. This is a very exciting moment for me. In particular, I want to thank the media that broadcast the Games from London to millions of Israeli citizens and helped us bring honor to the country."

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