From Tragedy to Triumph

From Tragedy to Triumph
From Tragedy to Triumph

Ben Binyamin was left for dead by militants when they stormed into Israel on October 7.

Six months later, he is the rock at the heart of the defense for Israel's national amputee football team, dreaming of lifting the Euro 2024 cup in France in June.

Binyamin was celebrating his 29th birthday at the Supernova music festival where 364 people were killed.

He lost his right leg when the attackers threw four grenades and shot into an air raid shelter where he and his friends were taking cover. His fiancee also lost a leg.

"I never thought I would play football again," said the former professional player, who lost his right leg. "I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to walk, never mind run."

Yet here he was bursting from midfield on his crutches firing a stinging left-footed shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

"You can't imagine," he said.

Two of his other teammates at the training session near Tel Aviv were soldiers who lost their legs fighting Hamas in Gaza.

One was shot by a sniper, the other had his leg shredded when his armored personnel carrier was hit by a rocket.

But now this band of brothers have found striking resilience and a deep well of mutual support driving Israel's nascent amputee soccer squad to the European finals.

The founder and captain of the Israeli national amputees' team, he has infused his teammates with the same unshakeable optimism.

"It is the privilege of my life to support my friends... guys who awoke and didn't know whether they would walk again," he said.

"We show that not only can you go back to normal life, you can play soccer on one leg and play for your country."

"If I go back to that eight-year-old who wanted to be a footballer and who was told by the doctors to get another dream, you can see how important this is for me."