Shawn Leibowitz Retires Undefeated

By Shlomo  Maital


   Last Thursday 15-year-old Shawn Leibowitz completed a 2 km. race. He got a special medal, awarded in a podium ceremony. Big deal, you say? Marathons are 21 times longer.   For Shawn it was a big deal. Shawn was abandoned as a baby, because he suffered from infantile paralysis. He trained for the race for months. His adopted parents live in a Moshav, Kochav Michael, in the South of Israel.   His friends and coaches applauded him as he waved from the podium.

   Yesterday Shawn passed away. His heart simply stopped. Was there a connection with the race? No one knows. Whatever the case, completing that race made Shawn immensely happy.   It’s a cliché, but – he definitely died happy.

   The race was held in memory of members of Kibbutz Yad Mordecai, on the Gaza border, who died in battle.

   When I jog today I will think of Shawn. For many, running 2 km. is effortless. For a few it is an enormous challenge.   Perhaps someday, Shawn will have a race named after him, with a special effort to enrol those who have a physical handicap.