Olympic skater promotes healthy hearts for women【Chicago Tribune】

イリーナ・スルツカヤ(Irina Slutskaya)のインタビュー
ISFF " News Articles about Irina... "
和訳 by vivais

関連記事:06/04/12 スルツカヤインタビュー、病気・トリノオリンピックメダルに込められたもの【Daily Press】

chicagotribune.com >> Leisure

Olympic skater promotes healthy hearts for women

By Julie Deardorff
Tribune health and fitness reporter
Published June 20, 2006

Russian figure-skating star Irina Slutskaya never believed an illness could wreck her life.

Now, after living for three years with a rare heart condition called vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, Slutskaya is convinced she was right.

"People always ask why it happens to them, but there are never answers," Slutskaya said recently, while sipping a green tea Frappuccino at a Chicago Starbucks.

"We don't decide our illnesses. You just have to take control of everything in life."

To the 27-year-old Slutskaya, that includes monitoring your diet, exercise levels and overall health, a message she is trying to get out to other women in her role as spokeswoman for the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign.

The "Go Red" team of celebrities works to raise awareness that women's heart problems are an urgent matter; one in three females in the U.S. suffers from a form of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women. It kills six times as many females as breast cancer. And some common symptoms of a heart attack in women -- back or jaw pain, vomiting, nausea and shortness of breath -- are often overlooked.

While Slutskaya's main job involves crisscrossing the country with the Champions on Ice Tour, which stops June 24 at the United Center (and also features American skaters Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen), she said she enjoys the chance to talk about her own battle with cardiovascular disease.

"I know women, they never think about themselves," said Slutskaya, who lives in Moscow and helps care for her mother, who is on dialysis, awaiting a kidney transplant. "When you fall in love, everything is for the man. When you have kids, everything is for the kids." Her advice? "Check your numbers."
「女性は、自分自身のことを考えようとしないと思います」とスルツカヤ。「恋をしたら、男性が全てに優先し、子供ができたら、子供が全てに優先します。」 彼女のアドバイスは?「自分の数字を調べること」(←健康診断?)

Known for her athletic power, vivacious personality and entertaining jumps, Slutskaya's career looked to be over -- or at least seriously disrupted -- just a year after she claimed the 2002 world championship and the Olympic silver medal in Salt Lake City.

She was gunning for an Olympic gold medal when she began to feel her first symptoms: an intermittent cough and fever, bruised and swollen legs and asthma. Problems with blood circulation were affecting her leg movement. "I just didn't feel right," she said.

Doctors eventually diagnosed Churg-Strauss syndrome, one of more than a dozen types of vasculitis. In addition to fever, fatigue and muscle and joint pain, Churg-Strauss is associated with asthma, allergies and an increased number of a specific type of white blood cells in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Shocked by the turn in her life, she missed most of the 2003-04 season while she worked to get the illness under control, ignoring the physicians who told her to stop exercising. When doctors cleared her to compete, she rallied to win the Russian and European championships in 2005. In Turin, Italy, this year, she brought home her second Olympic medal, a bronze.

"She's a good example that even if you have a disease, you can do whatever you want," said cardiologist Annabelle Volgman, director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center. "It is unusual for anyone to be at her level, but I think her personality and commitment to the sport are what drive her ability to do it."

Slutskaya's main treatment is the drug prednisone and a lighter version called Medipred, which is used as a precaution against further damage.

But she also tries not to "eat like an American," meaning she prefers fresh, whole and unprocessed foods, exercises and knows when to stop pushing herself, a relatively new and hard lesson for the Olympian.

Her heart-felt advice to other women is simple. "Don't forget about yourself," she said. "Love yourself. Love your heart."

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune


Posted by sara at 2006年06月22日 12:18
Posted by vivais at 2006年06月23日 15:16
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