Reports of Paralympian Marieke Vervoort considering euthanasia after the games in Rio, Brazil, made headlines last week, but over the weekend the Belgian wheelchair racer clarified her plans.
Vervoort, who took the silver medal in her event, told The Advertiser that while she is prepared, she is not ready to end her life yet.
“I’m still enjoying every little moment,” she said, according to the Australian news website. “When the moment comes when I have more bad days than good days, then I have my euthanasia papers, but the time is not there yet.”
Vervoort, 37, has a degenerative muscle disease that causes unbearable pain, and affects her sleep and eye sight. Her condition often results in seizure and fainting spells, from which she is awoken only by her dog licking her face.
She told the Advertiser that she signed the euthanasia papers in 2008 and confirmed that this year’s games would be her last.
“After the Paralympic Games, when I quit, I’m going to enjoy every little moment in my life, and I’m going to put more energy in my family and friends, which I couldn’t do with top sports because I had to train every day,” she told The Advertiser.
But, she said, euthanasia is on the horizon, and that gives her a sense of peace.
“If I hadn’t gotten those (euthanasia) papers I think I would already have committed suicide because it’s very hard to live with so much pain and suffering and this unsureness,” she told the website.