Olympic gold medalist details experience with coronavirus, says he’s ‘exhausted’ by any activity


Retired South African swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh contracted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) earlier this month. Over the weekend, van der Burgh opened up about his experience with the coronavirus in a series of statements on his Twitter account.

Van der Burgh, 31, said COVID-19 is “by far the worst virus” that he’s ever endured.

“I have been struggling with COVID-19 for 14 days today,” van der Burgh tweeted. “By far the worst virus I have ever endured despite being a healthy individual with strong lungs (no smoking/sport) and living a healthy lifestyle and being young (least at risk demographic).”

Van der Burgh won gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2012 Olympics in London. The South African swimmer announced his retirement from the sport in December 2018.

“Although the most severe symptoms (extreme fever) have eased, I am still struggling with serious fatigue and a residual cough that I can’t shake,” van der Burgh added. “Any physical activity like walking leaves me exhausted for hours.

“The loss in body conditioning has been immense and can only feel for the athletes that contract Covid-19 as they will suffer a great loss of current conditioning through the last training cycle. Infection closer to competition being the worst.”

As of right now, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are still scheduled to begin July 24, but the coronavirus has put the Summer Games into question. On Sunday, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced that the organization will make a final decision on the 2020 Olympics within the next four weeks.

Canada and Australia’s governing bodies have already stated that their athletes won’t be competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo if the Games are still going to be held.





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