Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley battled COVID a few months before winning Olympic gold in Tokyo. Paramedics rushed the diver to hospital when he began to struggle to breathe.
The British gold medalist spoke of his illness for the first time in an interview with The Times. He told the newspaper he needed months to recover before he could properly resume training. He also said he suffers longer-term consequences of the virus with his cardiovascular fitness reduced by five per cent.
“I would consider myself to be quite a healthy person, but Covid doesn’t discriminate at all.”
Tom Daley contracted Covid-19 in January.
“Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn’t get enough oxygen into my body.”
“I honestly felt like I might die.”
Tom said he told his husband Lance what he wanted done if he stopped breathing. The pair share a three-year-old son. When Lance also began to feel sick, Tom became increasingly concerned.
“I started to feel better for a few days, but then my cough got worse again.”
Later, the diver felt like his head had a vice tightening around it. His oxygen levels also began to drop. He said his lungs felt pressurised as if surrounded by sacks of rice.
Taken to hospital by ambulance, he underwent blood tests and x-rays. Doctors boosted his oxygen levels before sending him home. Tom said he had an anxious time in hospital.
“I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill. I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up.”
Months after Tom Daley battled COVID, he went on to win gold and bronze medals at the Tokyo Games.
This week, the world’s most famous exponent of crochet posted his latest work to Instagram.
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