Former Olympian experienced “great horror” that he wants to turn into an example

Former marathon runner Ricardo Ribas wants to turn the “big scare” he recently experienced, which forced him to undergo cardiac ablation, into an opportunity to include more tests in the list of mandatory sports-medical tests.

“Now I want to rest for 10 or 15 days and then I would like to meet with the federations, the Olympic Committee and the Institute of Youth and Sports to draw attention to the need to include tests like the 24-hour Holter in the annual list,” he says. . Ricardo Ribas at the Lusa agency, less than a week after he had undergone cardiac ablation.

The former long-distance runner and half-distance runner, who considers himself a man of “examples”, wants the health problem he faced, which has now even turned him into a case study for the Hospital de Guimarães, where he was operated on, to serve to alert the consciences.

“I am absolutely sure that there are many athletes, especially platoon athletes, who are not tested and should be. We think we’re selling health, but we’re not. There must be stricter control, even for those who take all the required tests, as was always the case in my case,” says Ricardo Ribas, who saw his life change last October, on October 26, when he did a workout ” at tour pace.”

“It was a sign from above, the doctors say it was an angel,” he says, explaining that in that workout he began to have “a heart rate of 220 and peaked at 245.”

During the episode, Ricardo Ribas says he “thought only of his two daughters and his wife,” experiencing a “terrifying feeling of helplessness.”

After several tests, the diagnosis arrived two days later, with the Holter result: atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia in which there are very irregular heartbeats, usually fast.

Since January 2022, when he had covid-19, Ricardo Ribas, who traveled an average of 100 kilometers a week, felt that “something was wrong, because he felt some arrhythmias”, having undergone medical tests that revealed nothing .

Three months after the diagnosis, last Wednesday Ricardo Ribas underwent an ablation catheter, a procedure that took about two and a half hours and which doctors said “resolved the problem.”

45-year-old Ricardo Ribas jokingly said on his Facebook page that the medical procedure took just under the two hours and thirty-eight minutes it took him to run the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon and he speculates that in recovery, which “it’s going really well”, the hardest thing is not being able to drink coffee.

“The doctors say everything is fine, I feel fine,” assures Ricardo Ribas, who is married to athlete Dulce Félix, adding that, after the recovery period is over, he wants to go for walks and “run calmly, without taking the body in limbo”.

Ricardo Ribas, who withdrew from the event last year, is the founder and coach of the Team El Comandante club, which has 150 participating athletes, all of whom are required to undergo medical-sports examinations.

“My club athletes always passed tests, but sometimes I disrespected them. Right now, I’m making them do medical-sports tests,” he vouches, warning: “Health problems knock on the door when you least expect it.”

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