Olympic champion Cameron Van Der Burgh has been keeping a low profile over the past two weeks and now, in a lengthy statement on Twitter, the swimmer has revealed that he has been battling the coronavirus COVID-19 and that South Africans need to do everything they can to help stop the spread of the virus around the country.
The athlete says that “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).”
He adds “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 continues saying that the virus will hit athletes hard and that it will take a long time to get back to their peak performance. “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,” he says. “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. Please, look after yourself everyone! Health comes first – COVID-19 is no joke!”
We’re glad Cameron has decided to share his diagnosis with the country and we hope it inspires even more social distancing as we continue to do our best to flatten the curve.
Feel better, Cameron. We’re thinking of you.