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Is Tahl Leibovitz The Greatest Jewish Athlete You’ve Never Heard Of?

by Ilana Angel

July 21, 2011 | 8:30 am

Tahl Leibovitz

My son called me last night from back east to ask if I had ever heard of Tahl Leibovitz.  I asked if he was someone I should check out on iTunes.  When he was done laughing, he let me know he had discovered Mr. Leibovitz while flipping through the channels and was so impressed, he Googled him to learn more.

Leibovitz was born in Israel, and now lives in Queens, NY.  He has been playing professional table tennis since 1995 and has been competing in the Paralympics since 1996.  He has won medals in every Paralympics table tennis category, as well as nine gold medals at the Parapan American Games since 2003.

Leibovitz discovered table tennis when he was 14 years old at the South Queens Boys and Girls Club.  He saw some kids playing and enjoyed the sound of the ball.  He competed in able-bodied table tennis for many years, and was then introduced to Paralympic Table Tennis through a friend.

What is his disability?  He has benign bone tumors in most areas of his body, including his playing arm, as well as problems with his toes, knees and spine. Despite this, he competes and wins at the world-class level year-round.  This guy is amazing and I am incredibly impressed by him.

My son said Tahl won his match last night, which is what they stumbled upon when clicking through the channels.  This man is remarkable and I’m not sure why I’ve never heard of him.  Granted table tennis is not a huge sport in the world, but his story should transcend his sport.

I can’t find any recent articles about Mr. Leibovitz so if you have anything to share,  please do.  I love that not only did my son stop to watch his match, but that he called to say I needed to blog about him because he is amazing.  Leibotvitz inspired my son with his ability to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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