ATLANTA (AP) - Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau is heading to Beijing with a devastating diagnosis: He has testicular cancer.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Shanteau said he learned just a week before the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., that he had cancer.
The former Auburn swimmer's doctors cleared him to compete in that meet and he surprisingly made the team in the 200-meter breaststroke, finishing second ahead of former world-record holder and heavy favorite Brendan Hansen.
Even though Shanteau's doctors have advised him to have surgery now, he's planning to put it off until after Beijing because he doesn't want to disrupt his lifelong goal.
The 24-year-old Georgia native will be monitored closely over the next month and vows to drop out of the Olympics if there's any sign is cancer is spreading.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)