JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Chareidi marathon sensation Beatie Deutsch, a mother of five from Jerusalem who has won a string of marathons in Israel, says she will not participate in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, since the event is slated to be held on Shabbat.
Deutsch recently won the National Half Marathon championship and also placed first in the Jerusalem Marathon last year. She has been training intensively in preparation for the Olympics but after she was informed that the main event had been rescheduled and would take place on Shabbat, she decided to back off.
“I felt like I was punched in the stomach,” she posted on her Instagram page, telling her followers that she had checked the date of her race long ago to make sure she could participate. “But, the truth is I am more than OK,” Deutsch added.
Deutsch, who runs in a skirt and head-covering in consonance with her religious lifestyle, said that until now she had not encountered major conflicts in maintaining her lifestyle and training as a top athlete.
“Things have become more complicated just as I am investing the most to qualify for the games,” Deutsch said, adding she is still trying to get the date of the race changed so it will not fall on Shabbat.
“I am planning to keep calm, keep training,” Deutsch said. “I am a fighter and will not give up. I will do all I can to change the date.” She promised to represent Israel with pride as she maintains her values as a religious Jew and a professional athlete.
“Life isn’t always about results, sometimes the journey is even more important and I am here for the journey.”
Deutsch achieved her personal best result in September at Cape Town, clocking 2:36:41 for the grueling 26.2-mile route. The Olympic requirements are for a result of 2:29:30 but since only half the female marathon runners are expected to reach that result, the Tokyo race will include 80 athletes whose scores are closest to the required minimum.