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This Queens Athlete Heads to His 6th Paralympic Games

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QUEENS When the Paralympic Games in Tokyo start in August, a Queens resident will be on the roster for the sixth time.

Tahl Leibovitz, and Israeli born table tennis player, will represent the United States in the multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities following the Olympic Games.

Leibovitz, who won a gold medal at his first Paralympic Games in 1996, has called New York home since he was three years old when he moved to Howard Beach, Queens with his father. And although the athlete discovered table tennis in the World’s Borough, otherwise he did not have an easy childhood.

His father struggled with substance abuse, so as a young adult, Leibovitz was homeless for a long time. “During the day I played table tennis and at night I went everywhere by train,” he says told the times of Israel.

After hours of practice at Rego Park’s Lost Battalion Hall and the South Boys and Girls Club of Queens, as well as training at the U.S. Olympic Committee center in Colorado, Leibovitz became a world-class table tennis player.

In addition to his Paralympic gold medal, Leibovitz took home two bronze awards, one in 1996 and one in 2004. Today he ranks 35th in all standing classes for men and 9th in class 9, one of the least heavy of the 11 lessons used to categorize Paralympians.

Ramirez will be there hundreds of athletes from the United States Paralympic team at the Toyko Games, which begin on August 24 and end on September 5.

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