Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits secured a 2012 Olympic spot for herself by taking first place in the women’s RS:X race at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Cadiz, Spain, earlier this week.
It was the last of four qualifying races the 28-year-old from Michmoret had to win in order to get her second shot at the Olympics. She’d competed in the 2004 Athens Games, after becoming the world’s youngest wind-surfing champ in 2003. She took that title again in December at Perth, Australia, and now again in Spain.
Korzits told ISRAEL21c that in her Mediterranean coastal hometown, learning to windsurf is as common as learning to ride a bike. The physically demanding sport combines elements of sailing and surfing with gymnastic jumps, loops and spins.
At Cadiz, Korzits led throughout the competition, winning four sails. The final race was canceled due to poor weather conditions. Her win comes with a purse of NIS 100,000 (about $27,000) to be shared with her coach.
Will Korzits follow the trail blazed by Israeli windsurfer Gal Fridman, who won the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the gold at the 2004 Games? Stay tuned for the London Games this summer.
For news, features, videos and background information on the athletes, please visit olympics.israel21c.org.