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Introducing Israel’s Olympians: Lee Korzits

July 2, 2012 04:29

So lofty are the expectations that anything but a medal will be one of the biggest disappointments in Israeli Olympic history.

Lee Korzits celebrates winning gold

Lee Korzits 311. (photo credit:Richard Langdon/Perth 2011)

So lofty are the expectations from Korzits that anything but a medal this summer will be remembered as one of the biggest disappointments in Israeli Olympic history.

Never has a blue-and-white athlete entered the Olympics as a two-time defending world champion and the 28-year-old Korzits proved recently that she can succeed at the Olympic venue in Weymouth even in far from ideal conditions.

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Despite falling ill with a cold, she scaled the podium at the dress rehearsal for the London Games last month, finishing in third place overall in a World Cup event in Weymouth.

Korzits, who became the youngest windsurfing world champion in 2003 and won her second gold at the event last December before defending her title in March, will be taking part in her second Olympics, desperate to erase the memories from eight years ago.

She ended the 2004 Athens Games in a relatively disappointing 13th position, but after taking a break from her sport and overcoming two near-death experiences, she is back better than ever.

As if she wasn’t already under enough pressure, the fact that windsurfing is set to be scrapped from the Olympic program after London means this is likely Korzits’s last chance at Olympic glory.

It has been 20 years since Yael Arad became Israel’s first and only female Olympic medalist, but if Korzits can handle the burden of expectation in London, everything points to her ending that drought.

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“I really hope I can win a medal in London. That is my goal,” she told the Post after claiming her second world title. “I will be entering these Olympics much better than the Athens Games as I know what I’m up against.

“I’m optimistic that I’ll do my very best and arrive at the Olympics in the best possible physical shape. You never know what will happen, but I have the ability to succeed.”
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