Noam Gershony says he has yet to decide if he will defend his Wheelchair Tennis crown at the 2016 paralympics in Brazil.
Gershony made history in London last summer when he won Israel’s only paralympic gold. But he confirmed this week that he will take a break from the tour to consider his options.
"I need to take some time off as the tour is very demanding," he said. "I’ve had an injury and I’m exhausted by all the training and travelling involved. People want to know if I will defend my title but I’m still undecided as I wouldn’t qualify automatically, even as the champion."
Gershony, who is 30 and lives in Tel Aviv, returned to the capital this week to address an audience about the work of the Tikvot programme which helps Israeli citizens and soldiers wounded in military action rehabilitate through sport.
He said: "Since winning gold, it’s amazing how many people recognise me in Israel. My achievement has really helped encourage young children with disabilities to take up sport, not just tennis but swimming as well."
A former IDF Apache attack helicopter pilot, Gershony also teaches maths to underprivileged children.
Recalling his heroics last summer, he said: "The Paralympics were such a huge event. They were very well-organised and I’m lucky to say I have competed at one.
"I love playing sport; it gives you a feeling like nothing else."