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Paralympic champion Marieke Vervoort dies by euthanasia

Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort, the 100m champion from the 2012 London Games has died by euthanasia at the age of 40, Belgian media reported on Tuesday.

Euthanasia is legal in Belgium and the spikey haired athlete announced her intentions after the Rio Games in 2016 to follow that path if her degenerative condition worsened her suffering.

Despite falling sick aged 14 Vervoort pursued a sporting life with passion, playing wheelchair basketball, swimming and racing in triathlons.

In 2016 she spoke to the BBC about her struggles with pain. 

“It can be that I feel very, very bad, I get an epileptic attack, I cry, I scream because of pain. I need a lot of painkillers, valium, morphine.

“A lot of people ask me how is it possible that you can have such good results and still be smiling with all the pain and medication that eats your muscles. For me, sports, and racing with a wheelchair – it’s a kind of medication.”

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