Jul 1, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Jamaica’s top 400-meter runner revealed publicly that she was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Novlene Williams-Mills, a 2004 University of Florida graduate, was told she had cancer on June 25, 2012, according to the report.
“It feels like your own body has betrayed you, like I’ve been stabbed,” she told the Daily Mail. “I’m an athlete. I work out, I train. It can’t be possible.”
She won the Jamaican trials six days later and then finished fifth in the Olympic 400-meter final and bagged her third straight bronze medal in the 4×400-meter relay.
“Was it crazy? Yes,” she told the Daily Mail. “That’s everybody’s dream, to run at the Olympics. But I was thinking about my hurdles that I have to come back to fight. I was thinking: ‘Am I going to survive this?’
“My teammates in the relay did not know. But I was standing on the podium, and I didn’t know if I would ever run another race.”
Three days after the Games surgeons removed a small lump in her breast. She then had a double mastectomy, a further operation to cut out the remaining cancerous cells and reconstructive surgery. Her final operation was on January 18.
Williams-Mills compared her struggle to that of actress Angelina Jolie, who also underwent a preventive double mastectomy, an operation which removes all or part of breasts.
It reduced her future risk of cancer from 99 percent to maybe three percent, she told the Daily Mail.
Williams-Mills returned to competition four months after that final operation. She won her seventh Jamaican 400-meter title on June 23, booking her place at August’s world championships in Moscow. The 2007 world bronze medalist is still a medal threat. Her season’s best of 50.01 makes her the fifth-fastest woman this year.
“I’m still one of the top 400m runners in the world and I want to see what I can do,” she told the Daily Mail. “Moscow will be for all the breast cancer survivors out there. I want them to know it’s still possible.”
Mar 10, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT
The third day of Paralympic action is highlighted by women’s super-G races as the U.S. looks to win its first gold medal. The potential champions include Alana Nichols, who won sitting super-G silver in 2010 and already has a downhill silver in Sochi. Also watch out for Danelle Umstead, who was fourth in the visually impaired race…
Mar 9, 2014, 1:58 PM EDT
U.S. wins gold and total medal counts for fourth straight World Indoors.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
Tyler Walker cartwheeled several times but joked on social media.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT
Americans put Olympic struggles behind them.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT
Tatyana McFadden made her Winter Paralympic debut.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT
Races for World Cup slalom, overall titles tighten considerably.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
Cross-country skiing on tap for Sunday in Sochi.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
World record holder has won four straight major multi-event championships.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT
U.S. speed skaters continue strong form after Olympic disappointments.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
Olympic figure skating analysts draw laughs on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:28 AM EDT
Veteran U.S. Paralympic medalists shine in Sochi, but Russia couldn’t be stopped.
Mar 8, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT
U.S. teen phenom wins eighth career World Cup race.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:32 AM EDT
American shoots up World Cup giant slalom standings with one GS left.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
Live stream of men’s and women’s Alpine skiing downhill races.
Mar 7, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
Full Day 1 recap of events in Sopot, Poland.
Mar 7, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Ukraine official has said delegation may leave Sochi if Crimea situation escalates.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
White House spokesman says case of beer will be delivered soon.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
Races for World Cup crystal globes heat up in Sweden.
Mar 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Zero Americans won medals in Sochi. Two made the podium in one day in Inzell.
Mar 7, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Canada’s gold-medal goalie headed for Columbus, Ga.
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