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Contender For the Olympics Gets Diagnosed with Leukemia

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A Japanese star swimmer was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, but she is not letting that get her her down. Eighteen year-old Rikako Ikee is a phenomenal Japanese swimmer. She has the title of the most gold medals won by a female athlete at a single Asian Games in swimming, as she won six gold medals and and two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games. Ikee was also named Japanese Swimmer of the year last month and is one of the favorites for many gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

On February 12, Ikee tweeted, “As a result of an emergency return inspection from Australia due to bad physical condition, the diagnosis ‘leukemia’ came out.” In that tweet, she also confirms that she will not be able to participate in the Japanese Championship. Ikee will have to miss competing at the senior level at the Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea in July.

Although Ikee will not be able to compete for some time, she remains very optimistic about the whole situation. She says, “I still find it unbelievable and confusing. However, it is also an illness that is cured if firm treatment is done.” Ikee explains in her tweet that she will take a little rest and devote herself to treatment. She also says, “…I will do my best to become the Rikako Ikee who became even stronger than before as soon as possible.”

On February 13, Ikee posted another tweet thanking her fans for all the support, encouragement, and messages saying that they have donated blood and bone marrow. She claims, “Not only me but also those who are painfully feeling the same way are really hopeful. God does not give me a trial that I cannot overcome, I think that there are no walls that I cannot overcome.” She explains that while swimming is important to her, she wants to “fight while supporting those around me” and that her fans should continue to cheer on athletes of other sports. She ends the tweet by saying, “I will definitely come back.”



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Contender For the Olympics Gets Diagnosed with Leukemia