Retired South African Olympic swimmer, Cameron van der Burgh, recently took to Twitter to share his ‘experience’ after contracting coronavirus. While sharing the details about his struggles with the deadly virus, Cameron said that it is ‘by far the worst virus’. In a series of tweets, he also gave his thoughts on how the virus affects not only the finely-tuned athlete but how it could also affect fellow athletes’ training for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
1/ Some personal thoughts/observations for athletes health,The summer games & my own experience with contracting Covid19.— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
2/ I have been struggling with Covid-19 for 14 days today. 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)— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
3/ 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.— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
4/ 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.— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
5/ Athletes will continue to train as there is no clarification re 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.— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
6/ Please, look after yourself everyone! Health comes first - COVID-19 is no joke!— Cameron van der Burgh (@Cameronvdburgh) March 22, 2020
Cameron retired in December 2019 after a competitive career that included becoming the first African man to win an individual Olympic swimming event. He won the 100m breaststroke at the London Games and he also won the 2004 men’s 4x100m free relay as South Africa’s Olympic swimming gold medalist. He also won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Meanwhile, on March 22, IOC stated that cancellation of the Olympics is 'not on the agenda' but will be assessing all options in the next four weeks. In the statement released, COC acknowledged the IOC letter "We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport."