Monthly Archives: December 2013

An Israeli ironman

Adi Deutsch

Adi Deutsch

Adi Deutsch, a soldier in Israel’s Golani brigade, stepped on an anti-personnel mine on his way back from a mission in Lebanon. He managed to block the bleeding artery in his leg himself, and a helicopter came and took him to an Israeli hospital. He asked his doctor, in a manifestation of black humor, if it was a “Volvo”, and his doctor replied that it looked like it would be. (Volvos are given to leg amputees by the Israeli government).
As part of his rehab, he started swimming and running, though his running was impeded by his prosthetic leg. Then when the Zahal Disabled Veteran Organization picked him as one of 12 people to receive special running legs (prosthetic of course), “a new and amazing world opened up to me…”

With his new prosthetic legs, Adi began training in running. And then he started running triathlons. There was a European Triathlon Championship in Eilat in 2012, and he came in third place in his category. “I wanted to show my fellow athletes…that I could become a member of the ‘Iron Man’ family. Earlier this year, he finished the ‘Iron Man’ (a sea swim of 3.8 km, 180 km bike ride and 42 km marathon run) in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

From what I read, prosthetic legs and determination are not always enough. Some of the people who lost limbs when a Muslim bombed the Boston Marathon are not doing well. But Adi advises that we should “set a goal and go after it.” He is certainly an inspiring example.

(you can read more about an organization that helps disabled vets in Israel at http://www.fidv.org). They mention another remarkable man, Aharon Karov, who was sweeping a building for explosives when a booby trap exploded, and the entire building crumbled on top of him. With eight pieces of shrapnel in his head, all of his teeth knocked out, his left eye dismembered, and his stomach and the upper left side of his body completely crushed, his prospects looked grim. After ten days of coma, he was able to wiggle his right fingers and blink, but otherwise, he was a prisoner in his own body. Because of his severe head injuries, he had to relearn right and left, the simple commands sit and stand.
Five years later, he ran the New York Marathon!

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