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Olympic champ Nathan Adrian targets Tokyo 2020 despite cancer diagnosis

AFP-JIJI

Five-time Olympic champion swimmer Nathan Adrian said Thursday he has testicular cancer but is confident of recovery and wants to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Adrian, who won gold in the 100-meter freestyle at London 2012, has four additional Olympic gold medals as a member of U.S. relay teams.

In a statement on Twitter, the 30-year-old said he expects to be back swimming within “weeks” after starting treatment and that his illness had been diagnosed early.

“We caught it early, I have already started treatment and the prognosis is good,” the 30-year-old Adrian wrote. “I will be back in the water in a few short weeks with my sights fully set on Tokyo.”

Adrian has appeared in three straight Olympics since 2008, winning eight medals in total. He has also won 11 world championship medals throughout his career.

The Bremerton, Washington, native used news of his illness to encourage men to seek regular check-ups for their health.

“I’ve realized that too often we tend to avoid these important topics, ignore potential warning signs, and put off getting medical help we need,” Adrian wrote.

“I am keeping a positive attitude as cases such as mine are curable.”

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