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Tokyo 2020: Athletes' journeys from cancer, serious injuries to Olympic medals Updated: 2021-07-29 13:40:33 KST

"I want to inspire other cancer patients, and for them to gain strength through me."
The words of South Korean Taekwondo athlete In Kyo-don,… who on Tuesday won bronze in the men's 80 kilogram category.
It was actually his debut at the Olympics,… at the relatively late age of 29.
It was a long road for In,… who had to overcome blood cancer.
It took him five years to recover after first being diagnosed in 2014.
But at the end of that battle,stood the Olympic podium, which he said he couldn't have even imagined.

"I'm living the dream right now."
Says 28-year-old American triathlete Kevin McDowell, who once, lived a nightmare.
McDowell was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma,in the middle of his promising career as a 19-year-old junior medalist.
After a cycle of success and slumps, he decided to have one more go at Olympic qualification in 2019.
And on Monday he finished 6th, marking the best-ever showing for a U.S. male in the sport.
He credits the advice he got from a stranger during chemotherapy: "live your life as normal as possible."

"It was a bitter and painful experience."
For some 4-hundred-6 days,.. Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako couldn't return to the pool, after she was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2020.
After a year-long battle,.. the 21-year-old recovered, just in time to make the Games.
Rikako narrowly missed the final on Saturday, but she has two more competitions to take part in.

And, after winning bronze,.Australian surfer Owen Wright said,he felt like he was “walking on a cloud.”
Five years ago,.. the 31-year-old,.. couldn't even walk, due to a traumatic brain injury after he was hit by a massive wave.
He had to learn to walk and surf all over again.
But now,.. he has made history in surfing's Olympic debut,.. and what could be a better story than that?
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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