Israelis You Should Know: Moran Samuel | IFCJ
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Israelis You Should Know: Moran Samuel

Moran Samuel, Israeli Paralympic rower (Photo: wikicommons/Tzneuner)

Since the Summer Olympics ended in Rio, the world's Paralympians have been competing in the Brazilian city. And, The Times of Israel reports, an Israeli rower named Moran Samuel has won the Jewish state's first medal:

Israeli Paralympic rower Moran Samuel won her country’s first medal at the 2016 Games, taking third place in women’s 1000-meter single sculls three days into the competition in Rio...

Samuel, 34, only took up rowing in 2010. In 2012 she came fifth in the London Paralympic event. In 2015 she won gold at the World Cup event in Lake Varese, Italy.

Moran Samuel had been a member of Israel’s national basketball team until the day in 2006 that she suffered a spinal stroke and became paralyzed in her lower body.

“One morning I was hanging out my laundry,” Samuel recalled. Out of nowhere, she felt “a sudden sharp pain in my back and I couldn’t breathe.”

Samuel called an ambulance and went to lie down. By the time the medical team arrived, she couldn’t move her legs and had to be carried on a stretcher. On the way to the hospital “I kept punching my legs” but couldn’t feel anything, the athlete told Walla News years later. At 24, with a promising basketball career ahead, she had suffered a rare spinal stroke. “In one moment my body was erased...”

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