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RIO 2016

Belgian Paralympian considers euthanasia after Rio "last wish"

Marieke Vervoort, who suffers from an incurable degenerative disease, hopes to add to her London gold and silver in Rio, her final competition
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Belgian Paralympian considers euthanasia after Rio "last wish"

Belgian athlete Marieke Vervoort has said she will consider euthanasia after competing at the Rio Olympics. “Rio is my last wish, hopefully I can finish my career on the podium,” Vervoort said in an interview with Le Parisien. “I have a bucket list, including stunt flying, and I have started to think about euthanasia.”

London gold

Vervoort competed in London in 2012 and won gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m and 400m. However, she told Le Parisien that she lived through constant pain and often cannot sleep at night. “After 10 minutes I wake up and I have to train,” she said. “Everybody saw me laughing with my gold medal, but nobody sees the dark side.”

The athlete, 37, also spoke about her funeral: “I want everybody to have a glass of champagne in their hand and a happy thought for me.” Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002.

Speaking about her hopes in Rio, Vervoort said: “I have a chance of winning a medal but it will be difficult because there is a very strong field. I’m training hard, and battling against my disease every day.”