Belgian paralympianMarieke Vervoort has announced that, once she’s competed in this year’s Rio Games, she will retire from herathleticcareer, and is contemplating euthanasia.
The 37-year-oldhas been battling aspinal degenerative disease since 2000, but hasn’t let it stop her from becoming one of the world’s most successful paratheletes – Marieke won gold and silver medals at the London Paralympics, and holds four world records in her category.
She’s going for gold again this year– telling French magazine Le Parisien that she hopes to “end her career on the podium at Rio”.
And next? Marieke has explained that she has a “bucket list” of things she wants to achieve, but that she has started to consider euthanasia.
“Everybody sees me laugh with my gold medal, but no one sees the dark side.
I suffer greatly, sometimes sleeping only ten minutes a night – and still go for the gold. Rio is my last wish.”
Marieke’s disease has left her paralysed, and often in terrible pain. As she explained, each year she has found herself able to do less and less; over the years, her athletic career had seen her try basketball, golf, fencing, surfing, triathlon and scuba diving, but her physical condition means that she can no longer participate.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium, provided that you have the written consent of three doctors.
H/T Le Parisien
Image Credits: Getty
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