Leukemia Survivor Rikako Ikee Qualifies for Summer Olympics

Leukemia Survivor Rikako Ikee Qualifies for Summer Olympics

Just over two years after she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, which led to a 10-month hospitalization, champion swimmer Rikako Ikee has qualified for the 2021 Summer Olympics, in a bravura performance at Japan’s Olympic trials earlier this month. “I’ve never thought I’d be able to win the 100,” Ikee said in an interview after the trials, according to The Japan Times. After a brief trial of chemotherapy, Ikee underwent a stem cell transplant, aka a bone marrow transplant. “I think my swimming ability has returned to about the level in my first or second year of junior high school,” she told Kyodo News last summer, according to NBC Sports. “No matter how unconfident or tough or difficult things are, if you work hard, you get rewarded,” Ikee said, according to Olympic Channel.

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