An Israeli physical therapist has won a place at the Paralympics in London in 2012. Moran Samuel earned her spot at the World Rowing Championship in Bled, Slovenia, where she achieved a bronze medal in adaptive rowing.
Five years ago Moran, then a physical therapy student and a talented basketball player, had a spinal stroke that left her paralysed from the chest down. But she completed her degree, started working in paediatrics, and then started up a national women’s paralympic basketball team. Just nine months before her Bled triumph, a friend invited Moran to start rowing.
“She got hooked and started training in adaptive singles rowing, quickly clocking top world level times and qualifying for the world championships,” says Nirit Rotem of the Israeli Physiotherapy Society.
In the UK, Nicky Hunt, a senior physiotherapist in Suffolk, has been selected to represent Great Britain in the Olympic archery competition. And partially sighted Anna Sharkey, who recently qualified as a physiotherapist in Essex, is representing Great Britain at the Paralympics in the sport of goalball – in which visually impaired teams throw and deflect a ball containing a bell at speeds of up to 104 miles per hour.
Many more physical therapists from around the world will be taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics. Please let us know about those who have been chosen from your country by commenting here, or emailing [email protected]