The 2012 Olympics are brimming with inspirational stories. As part of our Olympic coverage, each day HLNtv.com will spotlight someone that inspires us all, someone to root for.
Ideally, when you head to the Olympics, you are in tip-top shape, you're solid on your game, and you sense the kind of preparation to which only years of hard work could lead you.
Clearly, nothing is ideal. Israeli windsurfer Lee Korzits knows this all too well. For years, she has suffered from serious back problems due to two separate training accidents, one of which snapped two ribs off her spine, leaving them attached only by flimsy junctions of muscle. It's the kind of injury that halts even the most sedentary of lifestyles, not to mention the momentum of Olympic hopefuls.
But Korzits is already a seasoned winner. At the ripe old age of 19, she became the first female Israeli world champion, not just for windsurfing, but for any sport ever in her country's history. After her accidents, doctors cautioned that her injuries could definitively end her career, but Korzits worked hard to prove them wrong. She was back in the water by 2010, emboldened by her injury, not defeated. She kept on winning, snagging top prizes in several competitions, including her second world title.
The last few months have looked bleak for Korzits. She is still experiencing severe back problems that have hindered her training and competition schedules, yet her country is counting on her as one of their best hopes for bringing home a gold. It's a challenge she is more than willing to accept, and that's why she's someone to root for.
“It’s impossible to say that everything is perfect. I won’t ignore facts, but I have reached a situation in which I feel good,” Korzits says. “I’ll be strong and I’ll give my all. I have tough rivals, but I really want to stand on the podium, and it doesn’t matter in which order.”
Lee will compete Tuesday in the Women's RS:X Opening Series.