Swimmer Alice Tai: «Amputating her leg was the best decision ever»


When Alice Tai learned the date of her amputation surgery in early 2022, she organized a “bye, bye leg” party for friends and family.

The Paralympic swimming champion was born with clubfoot and chronic pain that over time spread to her entire body.

For this reason the English girl, gifted with an almost infinite positivity, decided to have her right lower limb removed.

The documentary

The swimmer told her story in an uplifting and heartbreaking documentary on «Channel 4» where she retraces her surgery and her recovery: «The decision to cut off my leg was the best of my life» .

Ahead of next week’s British Championships, where she will compete in five events that serve as a test run for the Paralympics, the 25-year-old says there are still tough days ahead, but she wants to get the message across that disability doesn’t have to define someone’s quality of life. a person.

«I have lived with chronic pain for as long as I can remember. I underwent the first operation at 20 weeks.” And more than 20 have followed since then.

“The worst case scenario for the amputation would have been to have to use crutches for the rest of my life. But that was already the situation I was in before the amputation, so I thought: ‘I have nothing to lose’.”

The ability to laugh at yourself

The documentary is marked by several lines from Tai herself.

“I went to hospital and came back without legs.” This nicely sums up her frank and humorous approach to a reality that most people would find traumatic.

The Englishwoman is a girl full of positivity and frankness, even when she says she is no longer performing like she once was.

Relearning to swim

Yes, because at the age of 25 she had to learn to swim again and it took some time to get used to turning towards the wall between one stroke and another. «If I kicked with my right foot, because of the angle, I went backwards – she adds – so it was dead weight in the water. But the fact of not having it caused an imbalance.”

The athlete also admits that her exits from the starting blocks today «are quite bad. I’m not where I was in 2019 (when she won six world golds ed.), But I’m learning to be more efficient instead of relying on physical fitness. It’s nice”.

However, the girl is confident ahead of the first British championships which will see para-athletes integrated into the main competition.

This article is originally published on bluewin.ch


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