Tahl Leibovitz

USA Table Tennis

Tahl Leibovitz
  • 1996
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2012

School: Keller Graduate School of Management

Years in Current Sport: 20

Favorite Food: Mango

Favorite Movie: Jerry Maguire

Favorite Song/Musician/Band: “Not Allowed” by Dead Sunday

Tahl Leibovitz first picked up a table tennis racket at the South Queens Boys Club when he was 14 years old.  Leibovitz eventually began training at the New York City Parks Department and attended his first Paralympic Games in 1996. It was there that he won a gold medal. Additionally, he was an Olympic Qualifier in 2004 and won the ACUI International Collegiate Championships in 2008 and 2009 for Men’s Doubles.  Though he currently touts many accomplishments, Leibovitz’s success over the past 20 years has been plagued with setbacks. Just last year, he tore his ACL in his left knee.

“Overcoming the physical aspect of table tennis has always been a challenge for me,” Leibovitz says. Still, with vigorous training and therapy, he was able to recover, taking home the gold medal at the 2011 ParaPan American Games and at the 2012 Mike Dempsey Memorial Championships.

Along with support from his coach, Olympian Sean O’Neill, and wife Dawn, Leibovitz says his success has come through self-motivation and positivity. “Success in any aspect of life can only come with self-belief,” he says. “Never be afraid of failure and never try to impress others with your performance.”

Despite his busy work schedule teaching and training for the 2013 Maccabiah Games, Leibovitz made a recent decision to enroll in Touro School of Social Work to obtain a Master of Social Work. He says he enjoys learning, evidenced by the three degrees he currently holds from Queens College: a master’s degree in urban studies, a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

When he retires from his table tennis career, Leibovitz would like to open a Table Tennis center for at risk youth offering table tennis instruction and psycho-therapy, Leibovitz says he will continue by this motto: “In order to succeed, one must dare to fail.”

Career Highlights
Member of 2014 US Para Team
2013 Mike Dempsey Memorial Table Tennis Championships Gold Medalist Singles
2013 Mike Dempsey Memorial Table Tennis Championships Silver Medalist Team
2013 Copa Tango Cup XI Silver Medalist Singles
2013 Copa Tango Cup XI Bronze Medalist Team Event
2013 USA National Paralympic Team Member
2013 World Maccabiah Team Member
2012 USA National Team Member Paralympic Games (London, England) 
2012 USOC Elite Athlete
2012 Mike Dempsey Memorial Championships Silver Medalist Team Event 
2012 Mike Dempsey Memorial Championships Gold Medalist Singles
2012 IPC Slovakian Open Silver Medalist Men’s Team Event
2011 USOC Elite Athlete
2011 Para Pan American Gold Medalist Singles (Mexico)
2011 Para Pan American Silver Medalist Class 9-10 Team Event (Mexico)
2010 USOC Elite Athlete
2010 ACUI International Collegiate Men’s Doubles Silver Medalist
2010 USA World Team Member IPC World Championships (Korea)
2009 USOC Elite Athlete
2009 Paralympic Pan Am Games Open Singles Gold Medalist (Venezuela)
2009 Paralympic Pan Am Games Team Event Gold Medalist (Venezuela)
2009 IPC German Open Gold Medalist
2009 IPC German Open Class 9 Gold Medalist
2009 IPC German Open Team Event Silver Medalist
2009 New York State Champion Men’s Singles
2009 ACUI Regional Championships Men’s Singles Champion
2009 New York State Champion Men’s Doubles
2009 ACUI International Collegiate Men’s Doubles Gold Medalist
2009 ACUI International Collegiate Paralympic Singles Gold Medalist
2008 USOC Elite Athlete
2008 IPC German Open Gold Medalist
2008 USA Paralympic National Champion
2008 New York State Champion
2008 USA National Men’s Doubles Silver Medalist
2008 US Open Paralympic Gold Medalist
2008 ACUI International Collegiate Men’s Doubles Gold Medalist
2008 ACUI International Collegiate Men’s Singles Silver Medalist
2008 ACUI International Collegiate Paralympic Singles Gold Medalist
2008 ACUI International Collegiate Mixed Doubles Silver Medalist
2008 IPC German Open Class 9 Gold Medalist
2008 USA National Men’s Over 30 Champion
2008 US Open Men’s Singles Over 30 Finalist
2008 USA National Team Member Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
2007 USOC Elite Athlete
2007 USA Representative IPC World Cup
2007 China Town Open Champion Men’s Singles
2007 Copa Tango V Gold Medalist Class 9 (Argentina) 
2007 Copa Tango V Silver Medalist Team Event (Argentina) 
2007 USA Paralympic National Champion
2007 Atlantic Cup Gold Medalist Men’s Singles (Argentina)
2007 Atlantic Cup Gold Medalist Class 9 Singles (Argentina)
2007 Atlantic Cup Gold Medalist Team Event (Argentina)
2007 US Open Paralympic Champion Men’s Singles (Chicago)
2007 US Open Class 9 Silver Medalist (Chicago)
2007 US Open Team Event Silver Medalist (Chicago)
2007 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Open Singles (Brazil)
2007 Paralympic Pan Am Games Class 8 Gold Medalist (Brazil)
2007 Paralympic Games Gold Medalist Team Event (Brazil)
2007 China Town Open Champion Men’s Singles
2006 USOC Elite Athlete
2006 USOC/USATT Athlete of the Year
2006 China Town Open Champion Men’s Singles
2006 USA Paralympic National Champion
2006 USA World Team Member IPC World Championships (Switzerland)
2006 Fourth Place IPC Table Tennis World Championships (Switzerland) Open Singles
2006 US Open Paralympic Champion Open Singles
2006 US Open Men’s Class 9 Gold Medalist
2006 Awarded Medal for Completing ING New York City Marathon
2006 IPC German Open Champion
2006 IPC German Open Men’s Class 9 Gold Medalist
2005 US Open Paralympic Champion Men’s Singles Gold Medal
2005 US Open Paralympic Champion Men’s Class 9 Gold Medal
2005 US Open Men’s Team Event Bronze Medal
2005 USOC Elite Athlete
2005 USA Paralympic National Champion
2005 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Open Singles (Argentina)
2005 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Class 9 (Argentina)
2005 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Team Event 9-10 (Argentina)
2005 IPC Player of The Year- Most Outstanding Player 
2005 Awarded Life Membership from the USATT
2004 USOC Elite Athlete
2004 USA National Team Member Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece) 
2004 Paralympic Games Bronze Medalist  (Athens, Greece)
2004 USA Paralympic National Champion
2004 USA Men’s Olympic Doubles Qualifier
2004 Awarded Crystal Apple from Mayor Mike Bloomberg -Outstanding Athletic Achievements
2004 Awarded Medal for Completing ING New York City Marathon
2004 Awarded Team Continuum Katherine Mc Donald Award for Perseverance
2003 USA Paralympic National Champion
2003 USA International Paralympics Championships Gold Medalist (Colorado)
2003 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Open Singles
2003 Paralympic Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Class 9
2003 Paralympic Pan Am Gold Medalist team Event Class 9-10
2003 IPC Player of the Year- Most Outstanding Player 
2002 USA World Team Member IPC World Championships (Taiwan)
2002 US Open Paralympic Champion
2002 US National Men’s Doubles Semi-Finalist
2002 USA Paralympic National Champion
2002 US Open Paralympic Silver Medalist Men’s Team Event
2001 US Open Paralympic Champion
2001 US National Men’s Doubles Semi-Finalist
2000 USA Paralympic National Champion
2000 China Town Open Champion Men’s Singles
2000 China Town Open Doubles Champion
1999 US Open Paralympic Champion
1999 China Town Open Champion Men’s Singles
1999 China Town Open Champion Men’s Doubles
1999 USA Paralympic National Champion
1998 USA World Team Member IPC World Championships (Paris, France)
1998 IPC World Championship Bronze Medalist (Paris, France)
1998 USA Paralympic National Champion
1998 New York State Champion
1997 USA World Maccabiah Team Member
1997 16th World Maccabiah Games Mixed Doubles Bronze Medalist
1997 16th World Maccabiah Games Bronze Medalist Team Event
1997 USA Paralympic National Champion
1996 USA National Team Member Paralympic Games(Atlanta, USA) 
1996 Paralympic Gold Medalist (Atlanta, USA)
1996 Paralympic Bronze Medalist (Atlanta, USA)
1995 Czech Open Paralympic Gold Medalist 
1995 Czech Open Team Event Bronze Medalist
1995 USA Paralympic National Gold Medalist Open Doubles
1995 USA Paralympic National Silver Medalist
1995 W & A Sports Games Gold Medalist Open Singles

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