Headache ends 26-year-old's Olympics dream

2 months ago 27
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The headache arrived astir connected cue.

Soon aft helium released his last arrow connected Wednesday astatine the Tokyo Games, a dull symptom acceptable successful for Netherlands archer Sjef van den Berg.

Sometimes, (like this one) it's a manageable ache. Other times, it's a migraine. In utmost cases, it's a clump headache that's truthful debilitating helium can't get retired of bed.

It's brought connected by the accent of matches, he's been told. So to easiness the pain, van den Berg's trying different attack — retirement.


Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands competes astatine Yumenoshima Park Archery Field. (Getty)

At 26.

"I permission relieved," said van den Berg, whose vocation was brought to a adjacent with a second-round nonaccomplishment to Marcus D'Almeida of Brazil successful the bracketed men's idiosyncratic competition. "The aforesaid infinitesimal the headache came (after the match), I besides felt a value driblet disconnected my shoulders."

The headaches person been occurring for a portion now. His neurologist explained that helium has delicate nerves successful his caput and that "anything a mean idiosyncratic would consciousness arsenic a tiny headache, for maine it makes my caput explode."

Last season, with less contests due to the fact that of the coronavirus pandemic, helium noticed less headaches.

"It didn't truly assistance successful making the decision. I made the determination beforehand," helium said. "But it did springiness maine the assurance that the determination I made was the close one."

Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands competing astatine the Yumenoshima Ranking Field. (Getty)

Over his career, he's travel truthful adjacent to an Olympic medal — doubly finishing successful 4th place. The archetypal clip was astatine the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games erstwhile helium mislaid successful the bronze medal lucifer to Brady Ellison of the United States.

But Monday was peculiarly painful. He and his Netherlands teammates fell to Japan successful a shoot-off during the men's squad event. Hiroki Muto astir deed the centre of the people connected the past arrow to unafraid the bronze medal for the big nation.

"We were so, truthful close," van den Berg said. "I truly enactment my each into that squad match. It was a precise affectional acquisition with the team."

Ellison precocious tried to speech van den Berg retired of retirement. But past van den Berg explained the headaches.

"If you person to bash it for your health, past you person to bash what you person to do," said Ellison, who won some of his matches by a 6-0 people connected Wednesday to advance. "I'm bummed, due to the fact that he's a top-level jock and I'm going to miss him connected the field."

Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands competes successful the archery. (Getty)

Someday, van den Berg volition sprout again for amusive again. Just not close now. His program is to enactment the bow distant until the impulse strikes him. It took 3 months aft Rio for him to sprout again. This whitethorn instrumentality him longer.

"I conscionable privation to instrumentality a measurement back," helium said.

So backmost to his time occupation — moving astatine a bow store successful the Netherlands.

"People inquire maine wherefore I enactment successful archery if I'm done with shooting, but I'm not done with the sport," van den Berg said. "I inactive really, truly bask giving bows to radical and seeing the grin make connected their face. That's truly rewarding thing."

The finality of the infinitesimal lone struck him aft his last arrow, which planted successful the "7" area.

"I was walking backmost to the tract to cod my stuff. That's erstwhile it truly hit," helium said of his decision.

Soon after, a headache.

"It's astir arsenic if I scooch the headache guardant until the contention is done, and present it's kicking successful bad," van den Berg said. "I conscionable took a painkiller. It should enactment successful a bit."

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