ソチオリンピックのノルディックスキーのジャンプ団体で銅メダルを獲得した竹内択(たけうち・たく)が2月18日、競技後の記者会見で難病「チャーグ・ストラウス症候群」を患っていることを告白した。スポニチが以下のように伝えた。

「チャーグ・ストラウス症候群」とは全身の細い血管に炎症が生じる疾患で、原因は不明。発熱や体重減少、手足のしびれ、消化管出血、関節痛などの症状が起きる。竹内は今年1月に肺炎にかかったとして2週間の入院生活を送っていたが、実際は難病を患っており、「結果を残してから公表しようと思っていた」という。投薬治療で顔には吹き出物ができ、筋肉はそげ落ちた。それでも病室で少しでも体力維持に努め、感覚を忘れないように助走姿勢を組んだ。

(スポニチ『竹内 難病と闘っていた「元気を届けたいという思いで飛んだ」』2014/2/18 07:16)

竹内は今回、メダルを獲得できなかった場合は病気を公表しないつもりだったという。NHKニュースが伝えた。

会見で竹内選手は「メダルを獲得したら、病気を公表しようと思っていました。家族の支えがあってオリンピックの舞台に立てた。同じような病気と戦っている人に勇気を与えられたらうれしい」と涙を浮かべて話していました。

(NHKニュース「ジャンプ竹内 重い病気明かす」2014/2/18 8:36)

所属する北野建設の公式プロフィールによると、竹内択は1987年5月生まれの26歳。長野県飯山市出身で、現地の学校に通学しながらジャンプの腕を磨いた。フィンランド仕込みの技術で、日本代表のメンバーの常連に。バンクーバーオリンピックでは個人・団体全試合に出場を果たしている。

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18日のジャンプ団体競技で銅メダルが決定した直後、竹内は「今できる精一杯のジャンプだったなと思います」として次のように話していた

「僕も入院したときにオリンピックを一度、諦めかけたというか、もしかして出られないんじゃないかなと思った瞬間もあったんですけど、ずっと小さい頃からの夢だったんでなんとかして自分の身体を戻して、みんなでメダル取りたいという気持ちで、ここまでやってこれました。でも、今日は本当に、メダルを取らしてもらったなという感じが強いです」
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