Inspiring photos show Michael Klim completing his first ocean race since his devastating health diagnosis: ‘The toughest 2km I have ever swam!’
- Michael Klim in first race since CIDP diagnosis in 2020
- Retired Olympic champ swam 2km in Noosa
- Klim now relies on a walking stick and leg braces to walk
Olympic champ Michael Klim has shown his incredible, never-say-die spirit by completing an ocean swim despite his serious ongoing health battles.
The retired butterfly great, who was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) in 2020, has taken part in a gruelling 2km swim on the Sunshine Coast, sharing the feat to his Instagram followers.
‘Completed my first Noosa Summer Swim (since my diagnosis),’ Klim wrote in a post.
‘Definitely the toughest 2km I have ever swam!’
Klim, with good friend and fellow CIDP sufferer Steve Pullen, heads towards the finish line in the Noosa Swim Challenge
The former Olympic champ (in the Noosa race above) confirmed it his first competitive swim since his CIDP diagnosis in 2020
Klim’s celebrity friends were quick to congratulate the swim legend who now relies on leg braces and walking apparatus to get around and who will, ultimately, require a wheelchair.
‘Get it brother! You are a stallion!,’ wrote garden guru Jamie Durie.
Singer Casey Burgess wrote: ‘Get it you legend’, while chef Miguel Maestre posted a string of clap emojis.
Klim, now 45, relocated to Bali soon after he was first diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disorder in his arms and legs and now operates a successful swim school business.
Despite his diagnosis Klim continues to swim regularly and work out in the gym and preaches his message of staying active, encouraging Aussies to hop in their local sea or pool and take on a challenge with him for a good cause.
Klim has teamed up with Brainwave Australia and is calling on the country to swim every day for the entire month of March in order to raise funds for children with brain injuries and illnesses.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Klim hasn’t let his autoimmune disorder diagnosis stop him
The Brainwave Klim Swim Challenge is hoping that all involved will swim a collective 34,000km and raise over $300,000 for children with brain disorders.
Speaking about the challenge, Michael said: ‘Swimming has given me my purpose, motivation, challenges and rewards in life. This March, it is time to harness swimming to raise awareness of the neurological conditions that affect thousands of Australians, and which also affect me.
‘We will also raise vital funds for Brainwave Australia for children with brain injuries and illnesses, and families.’
Every day in Australia 10 children are diagnosed with neurological conditions, and Brainwave supports many of these families around the country and many more will need it as the year goes on.
Despite his determination to still train and swim, Michael recently opened up about how much the chronic illness has affected his physical health.
Klim was amongst dozens of competitors taking part in the popular annual Noosa Swim Challenge
Despite his determination to still train and swim, Michael recently opened up about how much the chronic illness has affected his physical health
He can now only stand on one leg and he told Sunrise hosts David Koch and Natalie Barr that the effects of the disease are ‘hard to fathom’.
While there is only so much doctors can do to help him, Michael said he is doing everything he can with diet and exercise to live his life to the fullest.
He previously underwent back surgery to help decompress the nerves in his spine and is regularly given intravenous immunoglobulin treatment, which helps to reduce conditions that attack the body’s immune system.
Those who want to take part in the challenge or donate can do so here at www.klimswimchallenge.com.au
The swimmer previously underwent back surgery to help decompress the nerves in his spine