The Book “Single Handed” shares Hanoch Budin’s experiences, ranging from the injury, rehabilitation, becoming an elite athlete with eight Olympic medals (two Gold medals), family, career, management and leadership, to his participation in “Survivors”, a reality television show.
It is more than strange to be born again at twenty. Within a second my life changed completely. Words like power, strength, completeness, security, beauty and success were replaced with: injury, pain, handicapped, rehabilitation and prosthetics.
On June 24th, 1982, another day in the Lebanon War turned into a special day for me. The explosion that took my hand also took my life plans. I was a young soldier in the IDF’s Golani unit, headed for officer training; strong, attractive, full of self confidence – and I found myself on the broiling ground laying in my own blood, without my right hand, and my face on fire. My screams cut the air and I knew I would no longer be who I was before.
That same day, laying in a hospital bed, I didn’t know how to decipher my father’s look; if it was one of sorrow, or of relief, that he hadn’t lost me – or one that said “I accept our family’s fate – that of loss and mourning.” The strength he held in his broad shoulders and large hands, I have never seen in anyone else to this day. This same man was also blessed with endless warmth and emotion.
Watch his story here
Looking back at my past trying to figure out what are the things which affected me most and brought me to where I am today, I find myself wondering. Born in Canada as the fourth child to my parents who survived the holocaust and made Aliyah when I was 3 years old, settling in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Beer-Sheva, grappling with the bad economic situation trying to raise us properly.No doubt what affected me most was my injury in Lebanon in 1982.A long rehabilitation process: Internalizing, adjusting, adapting, switching from right to left and much more.It is not easy to accept those who are different. At the beginning, I would hope that people didn’t note my handicap. I would attempt to divert their attention towards the attributes of my personality – making efforts that wouldn’t be needed if I had my right hand.
Dealing with a new present towards the future: coping without compromises, studying and on top of all becoming a world class swimmer. Creating a family and raising two boys watching the eldest join the army to serve in a special operations unit. Participating in 6 Paralympic games and winning 8 medals (two of them Gold, establishing two world records). Enjoying a rich business career both as self employed and in major roles at leading companies.
My story is about falling into a pit; which could have been impossible to escape and then creating a positive reality, one of strength and significance despite the circumstances – one that was potentially better than what it was before the injury.
My presentation is about how to make the best of a new and seemingly disastrous situation. It is also about taking charge of ones’ life, becoming a winner. I will take you back to the lowest point one can ever fall, turning what you think is your worst weakness into an advantage.Children, adults, co-workers, athletes, managers, they are all welcome into my world in a flowing, humorous presentation with a deep yet open discussion leaving something beneficial for everyone…
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Single Handedshares Hanoch Budin’s experiences, ranging from the injury, rehabilitation, becoming an elite athlete with eight Olympic medals (two Gold medals), family, career, management and leadership, to his participation in “Survivors”, a reality television show.
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