“Asthmic athletes” might seem like an oxymoron because most sports require fitness. But, there are some strong headed athletes who fought asthma to achieve success.
Parupalli Kashyap is a badminton player from India who was awarded the Arjuna Award by Government of India in 2012. In spite of being diagnosed by asthma early on, he managed to create history by reaching the Quarterfinals of men's singles at 2012 London Olympics, being the only male player from India to do so. In 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, he won the gold medal in men's singles and was an Icon Player for the Indian Badminton League team, Banga Beats in the 2013 edition.
David Beckham is one of the world's most famous football players, who had admitted in 2009 that he suffered from asthma since childhood. Despite having this respiratory disorder, David lived up to maintain his fitness and has been recognized as a great player worldwide.
A four-time Olympian, three-time gold medalist and basketball /track athlete at UCLA, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was diagnosed with severe asthma. Afraid of losing her scholarship, she ducked her coaches after learning about the diagnosis but was later able to become healthy and learn to handle her disease.
During her childhood days, Amy Van Dyken was diagnosed with asthma which was so bad that she couldn’t climb stairs. At 6 years of age, she was advised by a doctor to take up swimming, which, she was advised, would lead to rhythmic breathing and stretching of lungs. She went on to win four gold medals at Athens Olympics and collected two more in Sydney.
Diagnosed with asthma at the age of 15 after passing out during a high-school football tryout, Jerome Bettis went on to play football at the University of Notre Dame and later got drafted in NFL where he was named the Rookie of the Year and went on to play 13 seasons in the league, winning a Super Bowl in the process.
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