Hand Cycling is becoming one of the most popular sports for those with disabilities in the world. Its growth is attributed to the fact that able-bodied athletes and athletes with disabilities can ride together in an integrative activity. The Center’s Shimi Sacheik is one of the most extraordinary competitive riders in the world, and not because of his speed. Shimi was born with a genetic disease which severely affects both his legs and badly affects his speech and sight. The condition causes severe frequent muscle spasms and makes it close to impossible to engage in aerobic long-distance events.
Shimi first came to the ISCD when he was 4. He began training in the swimming pool where he showed great determination and perseverance. After one year of intensive training he was able to swim unaided.
Shimi’s struggle to integrate into Israeli society led him to volunteer for the Israel army, despite the fact that the army didn’t want to recruit him. He stubbornly insisted on his right to be enlisted, until the army conscripted him. He served as an armorer in one of Israel’s top combat units, where he gained the respect of his commanders and fellow soldiers.
Shimi has completed numerous international marathons in the last few years, volunteers at the Center, is a public speaker and a fitness mentor.