Australian freestyle specialist Mack Horton made waves both in and out of the pool at the 2016 Olympic Games, but is making headlines this week due to averting a possible health scare.
The 20-year-old Rio gold medalist in the 400m freestyle, who called out opponent Sun Yang for having served a doping ban, recently took to social media to thank a fan for noticing a peculiar mole on the Melbourne Vicentre athlete’s chest.
“I think this person might actually be a skin specialist who was just watching the swimming (during Rio),” Horton told the Herald Sun. “They emailed the doctor from the swim team and said ‘I’ve been watching this mole for a little while, Mack should probably go and get it checked out’ so the team doc wrote me a referral.”
When Horton visited a medical office concerning the suspicious mole, doctors decided it was the best course of action to remove the mole sooner rather than later.
“Sometimes I was blasé and sometimes I’d see it in the mirror and say ‘I probably should get this one checked out’ because I had noticed it had been changing a little bit, but I guess this person calling me out on it made me finally go and do it which was a good thing.
“It’s a good little reminder for everyone out there to go and get their skin checked.” The tissue sample will be sent out for biopsy analysis.
According to The Courier Mail, Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world. Statistics say 1 in 14 Australian men and 1 in 24 Australian women are diagnosed at some stage in their life.
For young Horton, the Aussie champion expects to resume training early next week to stay on track for November’s short course national championship meet in Brisbane.
You can read more about melanoma, skin cancer and sun exposure here.