“But one thing I do know is that I will continue to proudly represent what it means to be an Orthodox Jewish woman and professional runner for Israel,” Deutsch said.
By World Israel News Staff
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman is deciding to give up her dream of competing in the Olympics because of her determination to properly observe the Sabbath.
Bracha “Beatie” Deutsch, a mother of five from Jerusalem, has long dreamt of competing in the Olympics. As the winner of the 2019 Tiberias Marathon and the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon, Deutsch is on the cusp of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, that dream has been challenged after Olympic organizers announced on Wednesday, that due to a change of venue, the date of the women’s marathon will be rescheduled from Aug. 2 to Aug. 8.
According to Tokyo 2020 Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto, the marathon was moved approximately 800 kilometers away from Tokyo to the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, to protect athletes from the overwhelming Tokyo heat.
“Today I found out that the Olympic marathon date has been switched to Shabbos,” Deutsch wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday.
“I felt like I was punched in the stomach this morning… but the truth is I’m more than OK. I wasn’t sure if I should share the news with all of you right now, but I’ve brought you along on my journey this far,” she continued.
Despite the heartbreak, Deutsch said that she will continue her pursuit of qualifying for the Olympics.
“Regardless of whether the race is switched or not, I’m not letting go yet. I am a fighter, I don’t give up easily and I will do whatever I can to get the Olympic marathon date changed,” she wrote.
“I may not make it to the Olympics… I may not make the standard or I may not be able to run a race that is on Shabbat. But one thing I do know is that I will continue to proudly represent what it means to be an Orthodox Jewish woman and professional runner for Israel,” she concluded.
On Friday morning, Deutsch finished in third place at Israel’s half marathon championship.