“The situation was not alarming, at the last moment I was hospitalized”


Almost two weeks have passed since it was published that Esther Roth Shakhamorov, one of the greatest female athletes in the history of the State of Israel, was hospitalized due to a kidney complication. In an interview she conducted this evening (Friday) with Danny Kushmaro in “Olapan Shishi”, she told about the hospitalization, but also about the disaster that befell her and the country at the Munich Olympics, about her career and what awaits her now.

“There were rumors that I was dying and so on. I was really in a bad shape,” said the huge athlete, “I took myself at the last minute and was hospitalized. I’m not afraid for myself. Of course every person wants to live, but I also have a responsibility towards my family. Suddenly At the age of 67 I became a grandmother. The children are so connected and need me and suddenly I disappear from them. I feel my obligation to them.”

“I wasn’t feeling at my best,” Roth Shakhamorov revealed about the moments before hospitalization, “my son said, ‘Mom, if you don’t come now, I’ll get an ambulance.’ He was very wise. I underwent tests all night and then I was hospitalized. There were rumors, I understood that people called and there was a rumor that I was dying. The situation was not alarming, but I was already in the hands of the doctors. I alone already knew that there was a problem with the kidneys.”

Ruth Shahmarov went on to tell about the first turning point in her medical condition, 14 years ago: “When I got to the point where I needed to be transplanted, there were no solutions in Israel. They told me to go look for it. So I didn’t know what to do, I was helpless. With all my name, what would I do , going from house to house to look for a kidney? I tried to look for a donor, but you have to go through committees and when I found a donor, the committee did not approve him.”

“Going from house to house looking for a kidney?”. Ruth Shakhamorov (GETTY)

“After some time, someone came to me and said there was an option to do it abroad, so I had to do it. For 14 years the kidney functioned better than when I was an athlete. I received a kidney from a 40-year-old man and it gave me the strength to train three times a day and do all the jobs I want.”

The athlete, who was part of the Israeli delegation to the Munich Olympics, shared what happened in Germany at the same time: “It was the biggest disaster, which landed on me suddenly, without preparation. My coach didn’t come back and I’m going back with him on the plane. I’m upstairs, he’s in a coffin downstairs. How is a young girl Can you absorb it and continue living?”.

“The doctor of the delegation and the director of the delegation contacted me and told me that they would give me two sleeping pills and that they wanted me to show up for the run tomorrow,” continued the former athlete, “They wanted to convey through me that Israel does not surrender and does not give up. And I was just a young girl, I did not understand this decision. I took the pills and I remember in my sleep I had all kinds of patriotic dreams that I would win for the country. In the end the event continued, it was a terrible feeling, as if we were being thrown out of the Olympics. They only took a break for one day for a memorial rally and continued as usual.”


“How can a young girl absorb this?”. Ruth Shakhamorov (GETTY)


Ruth Shakhamorov continued and also told about the competition in which she lost to five Eastern European athletes who took drugs before the run: “It was a world of drugs and everyone knew it. They took these girls and did whatever they wanted. Today we know that these things boosted their results . I have a feeling that people know the truth, they know the world we live in. Everyone knows that the Olympics, even in Munich, have drugs. It was an unreal world, of cheating and I knew I was in that world.”

“I didn’t want my Israeli record to last that long, but everyone was put off by the result. In the end, Diana managed to do it and I will wish her at the next Olympics that she at least goes up a notch, and she did her part. You know, I have a ticket, when you get to the Olympics, then you are considered And measure you, since then nothing has changed for me in terms of the measurements listed on the card.”

Finally, the legendary athlete addressed what awaits her in the future: “I will not use this stage to ask. I will never utter a sentence that says, ‘Donate to me, do it to me.’ Of course. I wish for myself that I could function for my grandchildren. My mother was a dialysis patient and she was withering away. I asked her why it was worth it, she said she wanted to see the grandchildren and the children. Now I understand her. If I don’t do sports, I don’t want it. I will forever be an athlete and I will die as an athlete.”

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