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5091-Keren Leibovitch photo

Keren Leibovitch

Swimming

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired

Further personal information

Family
She has four sons including two sets of twins, ethan and Daniel.

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She has been swimming since childhood, but took up para-swimming soon after her injury at age 20.
Why this sport?
She was an avid swimmer as a teenager, and despite the injury that caused partial paralysis in her legs at age 20, she had no intention of quitting the sport. Despite her pre-existing affinity for the sport, swimming also formed part of her rehabilitation.
Name of coach
Yossef Maimon

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
"Who will remember my medals when I am dead? No one. What will remain is my children, they are my greatest achievements." (all-israel.livejournal.com, 23 May 2011; mako.co.il, 19 May 2011)
Impairment
She was injured at age 20 during her service in the Israeli Defence Force while training to be an officer, resulting in partial paralysis in her legs. She says her disability left her with a lot of anger about life and her body, but that the birth of her sons has helped cure those negative emotions. (ramahs.org, 20 May 2007)
Other information
ISRAELI LEGEND
Israeli media refer to her as one of the greatest Israeli Paralympians of all time. 'Her athletic abilities, natural charisma and willingness to use the media astutely have made the swimmer a spokesperson for disabled athletes in Israel and a major celebrity in the country'. (ramahs.org, 20 May 2007)

BUSY SINGLE MOTHER
In 2004 she decided she wanted to have children, but admits that "the children came before a partner in my considerations". So she began fertility treatments over the next three years and eventually conceived twins through artificial insemination. The pregnancy was complicated, resulting in severe blood loss and emergency surgery, but Ethan and Daniel were born healthy. She went back to training seven weeks after the birth, and would take the twins with her everyday as she trained for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. "I did not sleep at night, and during the days I was just nursing and swimming. But I had a dream - to get a photo on the podium with the twins when I win a medal [at Beijing]." She missed out on the podium in Beijing, but embarked on a new round of fertility treatments and conceived a second set of twins. Her ultimate dream is to win a medal at London 2012 Paralympic Games, and take a photo on the podium with her four sons.
(all-israel.livejournal.com, 23 May 2011; mako.co.il, 19 May 2011)

SPONSORSHIP
She has struggled to secure sponsorship throughout her career, and even threatened to quit swimming in 2003 due to a lack of support. However, Zahav Lines phone company stepped in and sponsored her. (ramahs.org, 20 May 2007)

Results