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.