This former F-16 Israeli fighter pilot lived and breathed the real version of Top Gun, but instead of shunning the world for what he lost after his injury, he decided to prove to the world what he could still do instead.
From becoming the best Paralympian sailor in the world to a highly decorated motorsport driver, Dror has transformed the idea of disability in Israel. And he’s reaching out to help others too. He helped found a charity helping Israelis access adaptive motorsports and is a motivational speaker.
A man who refuses to be denied all of life’s rewards, check out Dror’s kick butt story of perseverance below.
Why he’s fearless
Growing up in Neve Yarak, Dror was obsessed with airplanes. The moment he was out of high school, he entered the Israeli army, hoping he would be considered as an eventual fighter pilot, and a F-16 fighter pilot he became; a goal he was able to achieve by the time he was 24.
But his entire world came to a sudden halt when he was involved in a car accident. Dror was riding in a car while traveling to another airbase with a driver who fell asleep while behind the wheel, rolling the car multiple times, with Dror leaving the scene with a T12 spinal cord injury.
The injury occurred in 1992 when Dror was just 24 years old, but what’s truly awesome about Dror is that he’s never given up or said “Eff it” just once after his injury. In his first year of his injury, Dror tried adaptive water skiing, racing, archery, handcycling, a whole slew of things, and for what? To prove to himself he could still do whatever he set his mind to.
And two years after his injury he helped found one of the charity Challenge, to help people with disabilities get involved in adapted motorsports. He himself completed the epic Paris-Dakar Rally Race across the Sahara in 2008, a 4,000 km race. He now races with Team Mission Possible Racing with Handicap.
Dror was really eager however to become a Paralympian, and chose sailing as his own adaptive sport of choice since he could practice in Israel all year, never having to leave for home country. And holy cow has he shown adaptive sailing who’s boss. He competed in sailing at the past four Summer Paralympic games – Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London – winning gold in Athens.
With his years slowing creeping on in, Dror felt the need to settle down, and after getting married he and his wife had twin girls 2 years ago, who’s birthday was just recently. Dror is without question a beaming daddy, and in order to better provide for them, Dror has also dabbled in other businesses – real estate and product development.
Most recently he helped develop a revolutionary wheel design that expands or retracts, depending on the terrain. A brilliant invention Dror helped design that’s been getting a ton of buzz, these wheels could very well become standard one day on all wheelchairs; that’s how cool these are. Check them out: Softwheel
If you’re looking for a human who epitomizes strength in all forms, I think no one can argue that Dror Cohen may very well win this gold medal too. Thank you Dror for never letting your shine fade. You are a great motivator for anyone with a spinal injury.
– Visit his official site: Drorqe.com
How has your injury motivated you?
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