I knew that through sports I could overcome what I went through
mr. assaf yassur wasn’t part of the miyagi-do dojo; he never competed in the all valley tournament to defeat the cobra kai dojo; and he never met mr. miyagi to receive a motivational speech. mr. yassur, in fact, doesn’t even practice karate. he, however, is one who did not give into fear. in doing so, he found that the best taekwondo within himself.
at age 13, mr. yassur lost his arms up to his elbows. he was electrocuted while he grabbed onto a live power line to maintain balance. as a result, his arms were amputated to his elbows.
not giving into fear, he sought out a hands-free sport. he found taekwondo, a korean martial art. he began training. by the age of 17, he sought to compete in the oympic para competition. he reached out to tawkwondo coach, yehiam sharabi. he was to be his country’s first para taekwondo competitor. with respect to his training, he noted “i have to compete against people who are 30 lbs. heavier and six years older than i in the olympic games we all compete against each other, so if i don’t practice here, competing with people with a lesser disability, its like coming to an exam without having studied.” ynetnews.com his family has also support his efforts which are financially taxing. they helped to raise funds for his training and competition. ynetnews.com
while mr. yassur was did not compete in the 2020 para olympics, in 2021, he struck gold. he took home the top medal at the world para taekwondo championships in istanbul, turkey. this accomplishment has been recognized as a source of national pride. israelhayom he now has his sights on the 2024 paris para olympics.
while mr. miyagi’s famous inpirational karate kid iii speech, did not impact mr. yassur, he drew inspiration from another legendary figure, mr. walt disney, who said “all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ynetnews.com
in sum, many of the impaired’s accomplishments are being co-opted by the unimpaired. sadly, they see this as an opportunity for both money and power. thus, it is so important that the accomplishments of para athletes and other truly impaired individuals be celebrated. we all can benefit from understanding their approaches toward life, motivations, successes, and achievements.
in life, those who dream (and work hard) can accomplish amazing things.
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