By Emily Burack
Israeli swimmers Iyad Shalabi and Ami Dadaon each won gold medals at the Paralympics on Thursday, adding to Israel’s historic medal showing.
So far, Israel has won nine medals — all but one in swimming events. Six of the medals are gold.
On the first day of competition, Shalabi had already made history by becoming the first Arab-Israeli to medal in the Olympics or Paralympics. His second gold medal came on day 9 in the men’s 50-meter backstroke S1 category. Shalabi was born deaf to a Muslim family in Shfar’am, in northern Israel, and this is his fourth Paralympics.
Dadaon won his third medal on day 9 — a gold in the men’s 50-meter freestyle S4 category while setting a Paralympic record. He had already won gold in the men’s 200-meter freestyle S4 category and silver in the men’s 150-meter individual medley SM4 category.
Before this year, Israel had not won a gold medal in Paralympic swimming.