LEIBOWITZ, KEREN (1973– ), Israeli Paralympic gold medalist in swimming. Active in sports all her life, Leibowitz decided to focus on swimming after an accident during her army service left her legs virtually paralyzed. After years of hard training she won medals in several world championships. However, her main goal was the Paralympic Games, where she first competed in 2000 in Sydney. There she took three gold medals and set new world records in the 100-meter backstroke and in the 50- and 100-meter free style events. In the Paralympic Games of 2004 in Athens she won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke as well as two silvers and a bronze among the 13 medals won by the Israeli contingent. Leibowitz was one of the country's outstanding competitors who assured Paralympic sports headline coverage in Israel.
[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]