Coronavirus Outbreak: Swimming icon Cameron van der Burgh says he has COVID-19, athletes continuing to train exposed to ‘unnecessary risk’

Former Olympic swimming champion Cameron van der Burgh has said he has been battling the new coronavirus for the last two weeks and that athletes who continue to train for the Tokyo Games are exposing themselves to “unnecessary risk”.

Reuters March 23, 2020 15:00:03 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Swimming icon Cameron van der Burgh says he has COVID-19, athletes continuing to train exposed to ‘unnecessary risk’

Cape Town: Former Olympic swimming champion Cameron van der Burgh has said he has been battling the new coronavirus for the last two weeks and that athletes who continue to train for the Tokyo Games are exposing themselves to “unnecessary risk”.

South African Van der Burgh won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympics and silver in Rio four years later before retiring in 2018.

He said that while the most severe symptoms from the virus had passed he was still exhausted by any physical activity.

“I have been struggling with COVID-19 for 14 days today,” he said on Twitter.

“By far the worst virus I have ever endured despite being a healthy individual with strong lungs (no smoking/sport), living a healthy lifestyle and being young (least at-risk demographic).

“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. Any physical activity like walking leaves me exhausted for hours.”

More than 14,600 people have died globally since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Van der Burgh, 31, said athletes who contract the virus will struggle to get back in peak condition for the Games, which are scheduled to start on 24 July, though there have been growing calls for the Olympics to be postponed.

Canada became the first country to boycott the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic and Australia on Monday told its athletes to prepare for the Olympics to be postponed to 2021.

“The loss in body conditioning has been immense and I 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,” he said.

“Athletes will continue to train as there is no clarification regarding the summer Games and thus are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk — and those that do contract will try rush back to training most likely enhancing/extending the damage/recovery time.”

Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak

Updated Date:

also read

Beijing sees record Covid cases as China outbreak spirals
World

Beijing sees record Covid cases as China outbreak spirals

New cases in Beijing have also jumped in recent days, more than doubling from 621 on Sunday to Tuesday's 1,438 -- a pandemic record for the city

Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine gets CDSCO approval
Health

Bharat Biotech’s Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine gets CDSCO approval

iNCOVACC is the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and heterologous booster dose

India's G20 Presidency: Significance and challenges as world's biggest economic powers converge on Indian soil
World

India's G20 Presidency: Significance and challenges as world's biggest economic powers converge on Indian soil

The 18th G20 Summit will be held from September 9-10 next year in New Delhi. Together, the member nations of the G20 comprise over than 80% of global GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world’s population