[REAL VERSION] London 2012

REAL VERSION

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

US Olympic Swimmer Eric Shanteau Returns to Olympics Cancer-Free

The Georgia native trains under Coach Dave Salo at the University of Southern California

By Mario Solis and Samantha Tata
|  Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 9:50 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Breaststroke champion Eric Shanteau is headed to the London Games strong and healthy after he was diagnosed with testicular cncer in 2008, days before trials for the Beijing Olympics. Mario Solis reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 26, 2012.

Mario Solis

Breaststroke champion Eric Shanteau is headed to the London Games strong and healthy after he was diagnosed with testicular cncer in 2008, days before trials for the Beijing Olympics. Mario Solis reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 26, 2012.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Swimmer Eric Shanteau will glide through the water at the London Olympics free from the heavy – and life-threatening – burden he carried with him into the pool in Beijing.

Days before 2008 swimming trials, the breaststroke specialist – who trains under Coach Dave Salo at the University of Southern California – was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"You’re sad, you’re scared, you’re angry, you’re frustrated," Shanteau said. "But more than anything else, you feel like you don’t have control over your own life."

The Georgia native – now 28 – chose to postpone treatment to pursue a spot on the US Olympic team headed to Beijing, which he nabbed.

"The gamble that I took was, leaving it in my body for two months you risk spreading," he said.

Though it was impossible to ignore the life-threatening chance he was taking, Shanteau says the Olympic stage was his refuge.

"For more, it was kind of like an escape," he said. "It was a place that I could go and think about something else other than cancer."

Six days after the Olympics ended, Shanteau went into surgery. His Stage 1 cancer required minimal treatment and his first post-op test revealed he was cancer-free.

He didn’t medal in the 2008 Games, but beating the disease has become a badge of honor.

"The biggest thing for me is really raising awareness and that’s, you know, continuing to swim and continuing to show people that, yes, I had cancer and, yes, I through this disease but I can still live the way I want to," he said.

Shanteau will compete in London in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out