On October 22, as a result of euthanasia, Marike Werworth died. This was reported on the official website of the Belgian city of Dist, in which the champion of the 2012 Paralympic Games lived. For many years, the athlete suffered from an incurable muscle disease, and the day before she decided to conduct the procedure. She was 40 years old.
According to her, she signed documents to agree to euthanasia four years before the start of the triumph for her Paralympic Games in London. Already in adolescence, Wereworth was diagnosed with an incurable disease, as a result of which she was forced to move in a wheelchair. However, the girl did not give up and, as a result, achieved tremendous success in sports.
In 2012, Worworth became the champion of the London Paralympics in wheelchair racing. The Belgian became the best at a distance of 100 meters, and at the 200-meter finish finished second, simultaneously setting a European record (33.65 seconds). Four years later, she successfully performed at competitions in Rio de Janeiro and entered another silver as well as a bronze medal.
Moreover, after the Paralympics in Brazil, Wereworth repeatedly admitted that over time, her health condition has noticeably worsened. According to her, she continued to train hard, but each lesson brought her great physical pain.
“For my body, it is too complicated. Training brings me suffering ... Before every race I work hard. Classes, arrivals and participation in competitions treat me. I give my best to literally squeeze out fear and everything else, ”Worworth admitted to CNN in 2016.
Even then, Worworth admitted that the possibility of euthanasia reassured her very much and protected her from thoughts of suicide. It is worth noting that this procedure is allowed for all in several countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia.
She admitted that over time she began to relate to death in a different way than many years ago.
“I imagine it as an operation, after which you fall asleep and never wake up again. It’s something calm for me, ”said Worworth.
Despite the presence of the above documents, after the 2016 Paralympics, Wereworth said that she still had enough reasons to live. The Belgian admitted that she still has a desire to "enjoy life," to parachute and fly on an F-16 fighter. However, in 2017, she began to feel noticeably worse. According to her, because of the most severe pains, she slept no more than 10 minutes per night, and painkillers practically did not help.
Over the past years, almost no news about Wereworth's condition appeared in the media until in September 2019 she appeared on the passenger seat of the Lamborghini Huracan. As Marika herself said, her last wish was to drive a car along the Zolder highway in Belgian Limburg.
In the sports world, the news of Werworth's death was received with deep sadness. One of the first athletes to comment on the death of the Paralympic Committee of Belgium (PCB). Thus, the president of the organization, Ann d'Iteren, said that Marique had made a huge contribution to the development of sports in the country.
“We will not forget both Marique’s stunning sporting achievements and her courage in the face of illness,” d'Iteren said in a statement.
According to PCB Secretary General Mark Vergoven, Wereworth helped popularize both wheelchair racing and Paralympic sports in general.
“Her speeches, as well as spontaneous interviews after the races, attracted great attention to the sport and were a source of inspiration for our society,” Verhoven said.
Four-time winner of the Grand Slam tennis tournament Kim Kleisters did not stand aside. The famous Belgian admitted that she admired her compatriot.
“A true champion and source of inspiration, but above all, a beautiful and warm-hearted woman. It was a great honor for me to meet you. Rest in Peace, ”wrote Claysters on Twitter.
Craig Spence, Director of Public Relations at the International Olympic Committee (IPC), expressed his condolences on Wereworth's passing away and recalled his conversation with the Paralympic.
“Marique Werworth was a warrior. In 2014, I discussed with her returning to the race after a serious incident at a competition in 2013, after which the doctors told her that she would never be able to perform again. “I sent them to hell! I live to race and race to live. I said that I would be back, and I did it, ”Spence said.
Four-time Olympic diving champion Greg Luganis also spoke highly of Wereworth.
“Motivates. Afflicts. So much remains to be realized. Unlimited respect for the Paralympic Marika Werworth, a true champion, ”wrote Luganis.