Keren Leibovich has been a well known and inspirational symbol to Israelis for well over a decade. Born in Hod Hasharon, Israel in 1973, her journey began with tragedy, but continues with a triumph of the human spirit.
Keren suffered a massive back injury during her participation in officer training during her mandatory military service with the Israeli Defense Forces. Subsequently, she underwent two major operations that left her with permanent back and leg injuries. As part of her rehabilitation, Keren started swimming and not long after was spotted by a coach. The coach suggested she start competitive training, and she did. It soon became apparent that Keren could be a serious contender in the 2000 Sydney Para-Olympic games. Keren exceeded all expectations when she won gold in three different events, breaking world records in all three events. She continued to deliver amazing results in the subsequent Para-Olympic games in Athens and other world and European championships.
Keren's astonishing performance in the 2000 games made her a well known figure almost overnight. She has since been an activist for disabled veteran's rights, an advocate for social justice and has taken part in countless charity initiatives. Keren has successfully lectured about her ability to find the drive and willpower to succeed, and has inspired countless audiences.
In 2007, Keren added motherhood to the list of her many accomplishments and the following year, while still nursing, she
competed in the 2008 Beijing Para-Olympics. Even though she did not achieve her previous results, Keren's determination and fearlessness won her further admiration back home. Keren currently lives in Ra'anana and is considering participating in the 2012 Olympic games in London.