I have two very close connections with the upcoming Paralympic Games starting this week in Rio. Firstly my father was the filtration engineer for all water sports at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. There was never an Olympic swimming, diving or water polo event that my family hasn't felt involved in, ever since Melbourne's greatest international event.
Secondly I did my Pre-University Gap Year Programme in Israel in 1966. Amongst hundreds of Spanish and Portuguese speaking students, the 3 New Zealanders in the programme became very close friends to us Australians. Two of these New Zealanders married, moved to Israel and had a talented, famous daughter called Inbal Pezaro.
In Rio, Pezaro will swim the relay as well as the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter medley events. In the 2015 World Swimming Championship in Scotland, Pezaro won two silver medals and a bronze, securing her place as one of Israel’s 30 athletes on the Rio roster. She won three World Swimming Championship gold medals (2002, 2006, 2010) and silver medals (2006 and 2010); and one gold, two silver and three bronze medals from European Championships in 2014 and 2016.
Inbal Pezaro, aged 29