Welsh bobsleigher Bruce Tasker insists he can continue in the sport despite suffering the minor stroke that has denied him a chance to compete at next month’s winter Olympics.
The 30-year-old Pembrokeshire athlete is expected to make a full recovery and has targeted a return to top level sport later in the year.
Tasker suffered a stroke on January 4, meaning he will miss next month’s Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
But the former track sprinter vowed: “I have been strongly advised that I don’t compete again this season but the initial prognosis is that I should be able to resume training with the team in a couple of months.
“I’m set to make a 100 per cent recovery and I already feel as though I’m most of the way there. In the meantime, I’ll still be cheering the team on from my sofa!”
Having been receiving scheduled treatment for groin and hip injuries at home in the UK while his team-mates were competing in Altenberg, Germany last week, Tasker was taken to Wexham Park Hospital last Thursday after experiencing dizziness and nausea. He was later transferred to the Stroke Unit at High Wycombe Hospital on Saturday.
He returned home on Sunday and will have further medical assessments over the coming days.
“I’m gutted not to be able to conclude the four-year cycle by going to the Olympics but I’m very grateful that I’m still fit and healthy,” added Tasker, who was part of the GB 4-man team that is line for a potential retrospective bronze medal from the last Games in Sochi in 2014.
“I’m still sore but, otherwise, I feel fine. While I’m not training, I’m already resuming normal life and the dog hasn’t been missing out on her walks!
“I’ve been looked after incredibly well by everybody and I’d like to thank my partner Kat and her father (both trained doctors), in particular, for their support. The same goes to all the medical staff at Wexham and High Wycombe hospitals who looked after me – they were absolutely fantastic.
“To me, this was a completely freak occurrence. I was unlucky to be in this situation, but I’m lucky to have come out of it unscathed.”
GB Bobsleigh Performance Director Chris Price said: “We are obviously bitterly disappointed for Bruce that he will not be able to fulfil his ambition of competing at his second Olympic Winter Games next month, especially given the dedication, commitment and excellence he has shown throughout the Olympic cycle, but his health is of paramount importance.
“The last few days have been worrying for all who know and care for Bruce but we are naturally delighted that he is on course to make a full recovery. We will now ensure Bruce and his family have all the necessary support in place to aid that process.”