My Paralympic Journey: From 2008 to Paris 2024

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Pascale Bercovitch smiling at the camera

Next year I will be in the heart of enchanting Paris, I stand on the verge of an incredible journey – my third Paralympic Games in a third sport. From Beijing 2008 to the upcoming Paris 2024 Games, it’s been a whirlwind adventure.

A Decade of Triumph

Beijing 2008: A Rowing Debut

My Paralympic journey took off in Beijing 2008, where I made my debut as a rower, representing Israel on the grand stage. It marked the beginning of a remarkable decade of determination and unyielding commitment.

London 2012: Embracing Para-Cycling

In 2012, the Paralympics brought me to London, but this time, I embraced the challenge of para-cycling. The transition was not without its challenges, but my unwavering passion for pushing boundaries kept me on course.

World Championships 2015, Milan: Paddling to Excellence

In Milan, Italy, 2015, I competed in the women’s kayak single KL2 200 m events at the World Championships. It was a pivotal moment in my journey, and the experience added depth to my pursuit of excellence.

Rio 2016: A Triumph in Paracanoe

In 2016, the Paralympics took me to the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio brought a new challenge – kayaking. The allure of this sport and its cost-effectiveness led me to make yet another transition. My philosophy remained the same: “Slowly, slowly… fast, fast!”

Racice 2017: World Championships Triumph

2017 saw me in Racice, Czech Republic, where I once again competed in the women’s kayak single KL2 200 m events at the World Championships. This event further solidified my commitment to my sporting journey, as I continued to push the boundaries of what was possible.

Funding the Dream – Challenges and Triumphs

Funding varies drastically among countries. Israel provides moderate support, which falls between the well-funded programs in Great Britain and countries with little to no support.

My venture into kayaking began without financial backing. I purchased equipment, secured a coach, and covered expenses like supplements and healthcare. It was a financial burden that underscored the importance of sponsorship.

The Power of Motivation – Inspiring Lives

My journey is bolstered by a global online community on platforms like Facebook. I’m a motivational speaker, and the support from these platforms has been humbling. My family, especially my husband and daughters, has been my unwavering source of encouragement.

The Evolution of Paralympics – Shaping Perception

From Niche to Global Recognition

The Paralympic movement has evolved significantly. It was once a niche endeavor but has now gained global recognition. The London Paralympics in 2012 marked a turning point. Effective communication brought Paralympians into the spotlight, changing public perception. My background in journalism and filmmaking provides a unique perspective. I view the Paralympics not only as an athlete but also as a storyteller. It’s a profound journey that transcends sports and reshapes perceptions of disability.

A Dream Realized – Paris 2024 Beckons

From Beijing 2008 to Paris 2024, my Paralympic journey continues, embodying the spirit of determination and breaking barriers. In the radiant city of Paris, dreams become reality, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

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