Its happening! Next week we’re off to Israel!
When i started planning this next swim, so long ago now, i could hardly believed it would be possible. Instead, once again, the motivation and enthusiasm of the peopleinvolved were able to surprise me and keep convincing me that, when it comes to disabilities, there are still a lot of folk with a huge desire to get involved and make things happen. There are many reasons that led me to choose Israelfor the next swim. This land portrays, despite its travails and its many contradictions, the search for a coexistence of different souls. This land portrays the attempt to unite painful diversities. This land portrays the symbol of wanted and needed peace which is the fundamental prerequisite for a serene and fuilfilling life. In Israel moreover, the scientific research in bio-engineering work is truly advanced: next-generationimplants, ever closer to the physiologically capabilities of our natural limbs are an important asset for the disabled. Israel is one of the world’ s leaders in this area. I will never tire of repeating how important the organisation and infrastructure of our communities are for a disabled person: accessible public transport, useable footpaths, supportfor families, the opportunity to lead a full and efficient working life, the opportunity to best develop one’ s skills and, not least, when possible, toparticipate in leisure activities and sports. These minimal conditions can really change your life. My battle and yours is this: the building of a hospitable and convivial community for everyone – without distinction. Those associations wich raise the awareness of the difficulties of the disabled by touching the public conscience, even culturally, contribute enormously to help win our battle. I praise and thank those associations. I have found in sport and in swimming, in particular, a means of reaching out to as many people as possible: i will continue therefore as long as you will wish to support me, to swim around Europe and the World. On May 7th, i will attempt swimming acrossthe Lake of Tiberias, from Kefar Nahum to Ein Gev. This trip, wich begins May 4th, willallow me to get to know the wonderful land of Israel. I will be accompanied by some extraordinary people: Piero Abbina, Antonello Manetti, Nora Alkabes, Filippo Tassara, Giovanni Giordano e Ciro Cimmino. These special people embody my stenght and my pride. This next swim will be a very special event: i look forward to meeting many extraordinary people in this wonderful land and i look forward to moving all together along a path of mutual support, solidarity and team spirit.