Unbeatable: IDF veterans' debut in Prince Harry's Invictus Games in Germany

For the first time in history, an Israeli team of 19 of service men and women scarred by wars are determined to win, break records and live on

Lior Ben Ami|
The sixth Invictus Games kicked off in Dusseldorf on Saturday and for the first time, they include an Israeli delegation led by Boaz Tabib, a paratrooper in the IDF who was injured in the 1st Lebanon war in 1982 and is a table tennis champion.
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"The flag represents not just the injury, but the entire country. We overcame the injury through work, starting a family and a business. The body is just a vessel. The vessel was damaged but the spirit is strong," Tabib said.
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הנסיך הארי ועידן קלימן
הנסיך הארי ועידן קלימן
Prince Harry greets Israelis at the Invictus games
(Photo: IDF Disabled Association )
Israel's participation in the games was made possible by a combined effort of the Embassy in London, the Rehabilitation Division of the Defense Ministry and the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization.
The Invictus Games were initially to include countries that had fought alongside the UK in Iraq and Afghanistan, but other countries have been invited to join since. Israel's expertise in sports rehabilitation surely supported its bid to join the games.

Invictus Games underway

On Sunday, 69-year-old Kobi Gershoni competed in the three-wheeled wheelchairs race, in a head-to-head contest against Jordan's Al-Shabuel which resulted in a Jordanian victory. Gershoni tryed to congratulate his opponent for the win, but Al-Shabuel avoided the gesture. Also on Sunday, Gil Yaakobi won third place in the 400-meter dash. The Israeli team will compete in table tennis, swimming, archery, hand cycling and running.
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Prince Harry with Israelis at the Invictus games
(Photo: IDF Disabled Veterans Organization)

Prince Harry: "Inspirational"

After the first day of the games, JNF Germany hosted Prince Harry, Germany's Defense Minister and its Air Force commander, among others, for a special event. The prince spoke with each member of the Israeli delegation.
The Duke of Sussex chatted with Diego Golst who told the prince he took a bullet to the chest and to the leg in Gaza in 2001. When Prince Harry asked how he has been able to go on with his life, "I believe in myself everyday, push myself to the limit and then a bit further and then some more, he said." "That is inspirational", Prince Harry replied.
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