Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau will be a winner whether he medals or not at the Beijing Olympics. The 24-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer a week before the Olympic trials, but that didn’t prevent him from qualifying for the team.
Shanteau has put off surgery so he can represent the United States in the 200-meter breaststroke. This doesn’t mean he’s taking the tragic news lightly.
“If I didn’t make the team, the decision would have been easy: Go home and have the surgery,” Shanteau said. “I made the team, so I had a hard decision. But, by no means am I being stupid about this.”Although Shanteau’s doctors have advised him to have surgery now, he’s planning to put it off until after Beijing because he doesn’t want to disrupt his lifelong goal. The 24-year-old Georgia native will be monitored closely over the next month and vows to drop out of the Olympics if there’s any sign is cancer is spreading.
Olympic coverage loves a heartwarming story so we’ll be hearing a lot about Eric Shanteau during the summer games. Shanteau decided to make his story public in hopes of helping and inspiring others. The agent for Lance Armstrong understands what Eric is going through.
“Lance’s agent told my coaches that I’m the closest thing to Lance Armstrong that there is on the planet right now,” Shanteau said. “If I can have a fraction of the impact that he’s had, just a tiny little bit, then I think what I’m going through will be good.”
It’s gonna be hard for anybody to root against Eric Shanteau. Unless of course you work for McDonald’s.