Leukemia Survivor Rikako Ikee Qualifies For The Tokyo Olympic Games


In a remarkable feat tonight in Tokyo, 20-year-old leukemia survivor Rikako Ikee topped the women’s 100m butterfly podium, clinching the gold in a time of 57.77.

Although her result missed out on representing Japan at this year’s Olympic Games individually in this event, her podium-topper was enough to clear the 57.92 minimum standard required by the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) to be slotted for the women’ s medley relay.

After making her mark by placing 5th in the 100m fly as just a 16-year-old at the 2016 Olympic Games, Ikee also finaled at the 2017 FINA World Championships before taking gold in this 100m fly event at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. She also wreaked havoc at that year’s Asian Games, becoming the prestigious event’s first-ever female MVP.

However, Ikee revealed her leukemia diagnosis in early 2019, spending most of that year in the hospital undergoing intense treatments. Her recently-released SK-II campaign ad shows how Ikee went from vibrancy to barely being able to dive in the pool, yet here the inspirational racing ace accomplished the unexpected, qualifying for her 2nd Olympic Games.

Ikee will also be taking on the 50m free and 100m free here at the Japan Swim, with her 57.77 outing boding well for possible individual qualification in either of those. For Ikee, her original plan was simply to take things day-by-day with the hopes of qualifying for the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024. However, perseverance, determination and raw talent have steered Ikee to a new plan.


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17 days ago

A true inspiration!

17 days ago


Chalmers > Dressel
17 days ago


About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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