Or (“Ori”) Sasson won a bronze medal for Israel at last summer’s Rio Olympics. The 25-year-old national judo hero then donated his Olympic jacket to Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

Or Sasson takes a bite out of his bronze medal at the Rio Games. Photo via instagram.com/olympicteamisrael
Or Sasson takes a bite out of his bronze medal at the Rio Games. Photo via instagram.com/olympicteamisrael

At Shalva’s gala dinner on December 18, 2016, the coveted jacket was auctioned for $100,000 to benefit the range of free services offered by the award-winning association for hundreds of individuals from infancy to adulthood.

“A minute before I handed over the jacket, when it was still in my hand, I thought about whether I would miss having it,” relayed Sasson in a meeting with Shalva’s administration. “But then I thought about all the good it would do and realized that it has reached its ultimate purpose.”

Israeli Olympic judoka Ori Sasson and a new friend from Shalva. Photo: courtesy
Israeli Olympic judoka Ori Sasson and a new friend from Shalva. Photo: courtesy

The big-hearted judoka didn’t stop there. He also pledged to spearhead a therapeutic judo class for the approximately 250 children in Shalva’s afternoon program.

Shalva’s newly constructed national center in Jerusalem is considered to be the largest facility of its kind on earth. During a visit to the campus, Sasson left Shalva’s children with a message: “With perseverance you can accomplish anything.”