Bill Johnson update: health has ‘improved tremendously’

Bill Johnson
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Bill Johnson has “improved tremendously” since ending treatment for an infection attacking all his organs two weeks ago, his mother told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“I do believe the infection has been combatted and he’s doing fine,” D.B. Johnson-Cooper told the AP in a telephone interview.

Johnson, 53, the 1984 Olympic Alpine skiing champion in the downhill, was hospitalized June 29 with a fever and an infection. Doctors were unable to locate the source of the infection, Johnson-Cooper has said. Two weeks ago Johnson chose to discontinue life-saving methods — such as supplemental oxygen and antibiotics, according to the AP.

Johnson has lost the use of muscles to support his body, but can move a few fingers on his left hand.

“He is just getting tired of being hooked up to things,” Johnson-Cooper wrote two weeks ago.

Johnson left the hospital to return to Gresham Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oregon, where he was living before the hospitalization.

Johnson became the first U.S. man to capture an Olympic Alpine skiing gold medal when he followed through on a prediction to win the downhill in Sarajevo in 1984.

He attempted a comeback for the 2002 Olympics that ended with a crash that caused brain damage. Johnson then had a stroke in 2010.

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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