Sporting Heroes for 60 Years: No. 20 Keren Leibowitz

April 16, 2008 00:04

For the past decade Keren Leibowitz has been Israel's most prominent disabled athlete, sweeping aside her competition in the swimming pool and shining on the stage that matters - the Paralympic Games. Leibowitz first rose to prominence at the Sydney games in 2000 when she won three gold medals, in the 50 meter and 100m freestyles and 100m backstroke. She followed up her haul with a gold, two silvers and a bronze in Athens four years later and is expected to be among the top performers in Beijing this summer. The 35-year-old from Hod Hasharon has suffered 90 percent paralysis of her legs since a training accident while serving in the IDF 12 years ago. Her success is all the more remarkable considering that, unlike many of her competitors, her injuries prevent her from making a diving start and she has to push off the side of the pool instead. Tomorrow: A judo star who is going for gold in Beijing

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