Israel excels as the “start up” nation but as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted this week, Israelis also excel even when their abilities are compromised.
The prime minister made a special point of congratulating the Israeli Special Olympics team upon its return last week from the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Also attending the meeting were Special Olympics Association President Daniel Benaim, other senior association officials, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry Director General Eliezer Yavlon and Culture and Sports Ministry Sports Authority Director Dr. Ori Shefer.
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Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I want to congratulate you from the depths of my heart. We are proud of you; everyone in Israel is proud of you.
“Sixty-two medals is an amazing achievement. You are all deserving of great appreciation, first of all because you are champions. You competed and won.
“Even those who did not win, to reach the games and compete, this says that you have something special, something heartfelt that gives you strength, also with the help of your trainers and coaches whom I congratulate as well.
“But we know that it starts with you and you drew strength from your very souls. I very much appreciate this and I would like to tell you that you have brought great pride and honor to the State of Israel and to yourselves.
“Secondly, you must know that there is also national pride because you represent something special. You represent the human spirit, which can overcome any obstacle if you want to; it starts with wanting to.”
And then the prime minister added: “I ask that you invite me to the opening of the Special Olympics here next year. It will give me a chance to see you again.”