Disabled Israeli Athlete Takes Home Gold Medal in International Competition

Idan Levi, from Ramat Gan, Israel, won a gold medal at the first worldwide online competition hosted by I-Karate Global Inclusive Karate Federation recently. Levi was one of more than 300 disabled athletes from 24 countries who participated in the karate skills championship.

Levi scored a 24.6 for his kata, a form of karate where an athlete presents a choreographed series of martial arts actions. He demonstrated the Heian Nidan Kata—which consists of 26 specific movements, including a knife-hand block and kicks.

Eric Bortels, head of the Federation, said the streaming event garnered more than 1,000 views on YouTube. The pandemic had shut down sporting events worldwide, and even as countries begin to open up, travel for disabled competitors is always a challenge.

“I had an idea to do something for our disabled athletes because they could not do any competitions anymore,” Bortels said in the opening ceremony. “All the disabled athletes can participate in this championship.”

When Levi’s name was called as the gold medal winner in his category, Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, was played in the background of the online event.

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