CNN – Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort has died aged 40 after ending her life through euthanasia.
Vervoort, a Paralympic gold medalist at London 2012, lived with a degenerative spinal condition that caused her constant pain and made sleeping very difficult.
A statement from her home city Diest said Vervoort “responded to her choice on Tuesday evening.”
Vervoort won gold in the T52 100m wheelchair race and silver in the 200m race at the London 2012 Paralympics, and claimed two further medals at Rio 2016.
Euthanasia is legal in Belgium, and in 2008, she received assisted suicide approval after receiving consent from three different doctors.
In an interview with CNN in 2016, Vervoort explained that her decision to sign the euthanasia papers gave her back control.
“I no longer have a fear of death,” she said.
“I see it as an operation, where you go to sleep and never wake up. For me it’s something peaceful. I don’t want to suffer when I’m dying … ” Read more.