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Michelle Dillon undergoes serious back operation
Posted by: Annie Emmerson
Posted on: Monday 22nd September 2008


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A career in sport can be a tough game, both physically and mentally. From the sidelines though, few spectators can fully understand the physical pressures an athlete quite often has to go through to reach the top of their game. Michelle Dillon, one of Great Britain's most successful female athletes, knows how tough it can be, but she tends to get on with it - seldom do you hear her complain about her aches and pains, and she's had a few of them...

A former 10,000m Commonwealth Games runner, Michelle turned to triathlon in the late 90's and very quickly made a successful transition from a sub-32 minute 10km runner to an Olympic triathlete. Her first outing in Sydney wasn't a great success, a mechanical problem saw her forced to retire during the bike leg, but four years later she was back and finished in an impressive sixth place. Her result in Athens still stands as the best result by a British triathlete at an Olympics Games, and was made even more commendable as at the time, she was already dealing with a serious back problem. Treatment included an epidural just days before the Olympic race to ensure she made it to the startline.

Ever the dedicated and committed athlete, Michelle was determined and convinced that she would podium at the Olympic Games and so continued in her quest to make a third Olympics, and win the Olympic medal she had always dreamt of. Sadly though, that wasn't to be, and during her 2008 pre-season Olympic preparation her back problems took a turn for the worse, meaning she was in constant pain and unable to train at the level required to race at the top.

On Friday the extent of what Michelle has been dealing with over the last several years came to light when she endured a six hour back operation which included a double fusion of the spine in the L4 and L5 region. It's early days yet and after such a complicated operation it's not known whether she will be able to compete at the top of her sport again. With her guts and determination it would a surprise to no one if she did, but only time will tell.

The team at Tri247 wish Michelle a speedy and successful recovery.


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Have Your Say
Re: Michelle Dillon undergoes serious back operation
Posted by Editor
Posted at 14:48:41 22nd Sep 2008
Reply to this

Hope it all went well Michelle. You are a tough cookie! All the best for a swift an successful recovery.