One Year After Leukemia Diagnosis, Rikako Ikee Is Back In The Gym

19-year-old Rikako Ikee of Japan was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago today, derailing her plans to potentially stand atop the podium in her home nation at this summer Olympic Games. Instead, she has made it known her plan is to go for the 2024 Games in Paris.

However, the sprint virtuoso claimed a critical personal victory when she was officially discharged from the hospital in December and now also by her return to the gym.

Per Ikee’s Instagram post from today, February 8th, she says, “My leukemia was discovered on February 8th a year ago today. Just one year after that, looking back on various things, I’m reflecting and now moving forward.”

Pictured in workout clothes yet with a protective face mask, Ikee continued, “A little training at the University gym…I really felt the weakness of my muscles.

“I’m looking forward to how my body changes from now on.”

As of her hospital release late last year, Ikee was said to be in remission and stable, though she would continue treatment as an external patient.

Swimming-wise, she said at the time she would start building physical fitness on land while consulting medical staff regarding competition possibilities.

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1 year ago


good luck to her

Here Comes Lezak
1 year ago

I got choked reading through this. Her courage, perseverance, and patience while enduring the worst of circumstances is absolutely incredible. Cheering for Rikako big time when she returns to competition!

Gen D
Reply to  Here Comes Lezak
1 year ago

A standing ovation will be necessary when it happens!

Lane 8
1 year ago

Can’t help but feel good for her. Best of luck to Rikako!!!

Mr Piano
1 year ago


1 year ago

Congrats Rikako! You get em!

1 year ago


1 year ago

My niece about the same age is currently going chemo to treat leukemia. I know how challenging it is to go thru those chemo sessions, especially those after the poison has already broken down your system. Admire her courage and will root for her in Tokyo!

1 year ago

GREAT work and commit

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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