An emotional interview by swimmer Ellie Robinson at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games has gone viral.
Robinson contested the women’s S6 50 metre butterfly in the Japanese capital today, having earned a Paralympic gold medal over the distance at Rio 2016.
The defending champion was unable to build on a good start, missing out on a bronze medal by a quarter of a second. She finished fifth, just behind Germany’s Verena Schott.
World record holder Jiang Yuyan of China was the gold medallist, Ireland's Nicole Turner achieved silver and Elizabeth Marks of the United States took bronze.
After failing to finish on the podium, Robinson gave a powerful post-race interview which showed how much she had overcome to even compete at Tokyo 2020. The 20-year-old, who was diagnosed with Perthes disease in her right hip in 2012, revealed she "ran out of time".
"I like to imagine a Perthes hip has got a finite amount of time left and I just ran out of time," she said. "If the Games had been last year, it would have been a completely different story.
"But with lockdown and the extra year, the adaptation with training – it took its toll on my hip. I had two failed injections, I tried different medications, nothing would work. I was at a really low point in my life, struggling so much, seeing a psychiatrist, I was on medication. It has been one of the hardest years of my life."
Robinson added: "I have tried medications that have not worked and I have been told just to manage the pain. So I am incredibly proud to get here, there were times when I thought I’d struggle just to even get to the Games. I remember saying even if I have to crawl to the blocks on my hands and knees, I will get there.
"I have had people telling me all the way back in December, I don’t have to finish, I can finish now but I remember screaming back at them saying I am not going to bow out. I am not going to quit. I am finishing on my terms."
Having already left those around her in tears, Robinson continued to deliver her inspirational message to the viewers at home.
"Even though I have deteriorated physically and my hip is in a very bad way, I think I am mentally stronger than ever. I am so proud of where I am. I don’t want this to be a story of sorrow and heartbreak, I want this to be a story of triumph because it is.
"I did what I wanted to do and I finished on my own terms and proved to myself that I had it in me."
Robinson, who was born with a rare form of dwarfism, began swimming at Northampton Swimming Club in 2012, but stopped training after her Perthes disease diagnosis. She returned to the sport in 2014, and first represented Great Britain a year later.
At Rio 2016, Robinson earned a S6 butterfly gold medal and a 100m freestyle bronze. Later that year, she was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.News Now - Sport News