Beijing-bound Eric Shanteau Diagnosed with Cancer
Nikki Dryden
Just days after being part of the biggest upset at the US Olympic Trials, USA team member Eric Shanteau announces he has testicular cancer

Just days after being part of the biggest upset at the US Olympic Trials, Eric Shanteau, who beat Brendan Hansen to qualify for Beijing in the 200 breast, announced that he has testicular cancer.


Shanteau learned of the diagnosis about a week before Trials, but told no one except close friends and family. His doctors allowed him to compete at the Trials, not thinking he would make the team. 'If I didn't make the team, the decision would have been easy: Go home and have the surgery,' Shanteau told the AP. 'I made the team, so I had a hard decision. But, by no means am I being stupid about this.'

Despite being advised by his doctors to have the surgery now, Shanteau is doing what most Olympic athletes would probably do too; he is postponing surgery until after Beijing because he would lose 2 weeks out of the water to recover. 'I was sort of like, 'This isn't real. There's no way this is happening to me right now',' Shanteau also said. 'You're trying to get ready for the Olympics and you just get this huge bomb dropped on you.'

While many keep their battles private, Shanteau decided to go public so that he could help others suffering from the disease. He has already spoken to Lance Armstrong's agent. 'Lance's agent told my coaches that I'm the closest thing to Lance Armstrong that there is on the planet right now,' Shanteau said. &quote;If I can have a fraction of the impact that he's had, just a tiny little bit, then I think what I'm going through will be good.'

This news makes Shanteau's upset at Trials all the more amazing. Being able to keep focus and swim a personal best with this stress and turmoil, is certainly the kind of feat that lives up to the name Olympian.