Belgian Paralympic gold medallist Marieke Vervoort who won gold and silver medals in 2012 at the London Paralympics in wheelchair racing, and two more medals in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro has put an end to her own life through euthanasia at the age of 40.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium. In 2008, the athlete suffering from an incurable degenerative muscle disease, signed papers that would at some stage allow a doctor to end her life.
A statement from her home city of Diest said Marieke Vervoort “responded to her choice on Tuesday evening, as relates BBC news.
Her disease caused seizures, paralysis in her legs and she could barely sleep from the constant pain.
During an interview at the Paralympics in Rio, Vervoort talked about the unbroken pain from an incurable, degenerative spinal disease and how she slept for only 10 minutes some nights.
“It’s too hard for my body,” Vervoort said in the 2016 interview.
“Each training I’m suffering because of pain. Every race I train hard. Training and riding and doing competition are medicine for me. I push so hard – to push literally all my fear and everything away”.
Vervoort confessed being scared but, “I’m really scared, but those (euthanasia) papers give me a lot of peace of mind because I know when it’s enough for me, I have those papers”.
“If I didn’t have those papers, I think I’d have done suicide already. I think there will be fewer suicides when every country has the law of euthanasia. I hope everybody sees that this is not murder, but it makes people live longer,” she added.