Why Aussie swimmer Emily Seebohm’s latest win was particularly emotional

Emily left the Rio Olympics in tears after failing to qualify in her main event following health struggles with endometriosis – now her tears are happy ones.
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The emotional moment Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm found out she’d won gold at the world championships in Budapest yesterday ran much deeper than an athlete striking gold.

The champion swimmer wept as she stood on the podium to receive her medal for the 200m backstroke. It comes less than a year after she was left bitterly disappointed by her performance in the Rio Olympics.

Emily discovered she was suffering from endometriosis after persistent health problems during and after the Games which saw the reigning world champion in the 100m and 200m backstroke leave empty-handed.

According to Endometriosis Australia, endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects a woman’s reproductive organs. It happens when the cells in the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) grow outside of it.

It is a condition that also affects one in 10 women across the world, but is often left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Emily, who was unaware what endometriosis was before her diagnosis, went from being at the top of her game to having extensive side effects including severe pain, inconsistent periods, weight gain, sugar cravings and overwhelming fatigue.

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“I was in bed almost every day before Rio between [training] sessions, just to let my body recover so I could do a good session that night,” Emily said last week.

“Some days I just couldn’t get up. I just couldn’t make my body do it. I was too tired. I wasn’t riding my horse, I couldn’t go to pole-dancing, I was doing none of that stuff I love to do and I missed the fun of it.

Emily underwent surgery to treat it in late 2016 and has not looked back.

She said she considered retiring after Rio before being urged by her partner, fellow professional swimmer Mitch Larkin, to give it another try.

She’s being commended for raising awareness of the painful condition.

“I am just amazed at what I have been able to achieve tonight,” she said, following her win.

Huge congrats, Emily!

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