Double United States Olympic Gold Medalist Tom shields revealed he was diagnosed with pneumonia for the second time after the World Short Course Championships.
Shields made the announcement on his Instagram Stories over the weekend, writing “[At Worlds] each day of the encounter got worse and worse, kept getting worse when I got home, broke out a fun 102-103 degree fever for a night or two … thought I had Covid but didn’t never done.
“[I] went to the hospital, warned them that I had already had major lung problems, even warned them that the “lung function test and stethoscope” might not work because I can hold my breath for 6 minutes. Shields continued, “I’ve always been turned away.”
However, Shields eventually got a diagnosis, as he wrote: “Fortunately I have friends at a lung / allergy clinic who helped me confirm. [that I have] pneumonia [for the] second time.”
According to the American Lung Association, there are about 3 million cases of pneumonia per year in the United States and about 43,000 deaths per year. Its symptoms include:
- Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow, or even bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and chills
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Sharp or shooting pain in the chest that gets worse when you take a deep breath or cough
- Loss of appetite, lack of energy and fatigue
Shields is a two-time Olympian for the United States, having won gold as a member of the men’s 400 IM relay in 2016 and 2020. As previously mentioned, Shields has represented the United States at the World Short Course Championships. in early December, where he won a bronze medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay and a gold medal in the 4×50 medley relay. Individually, Shields failed to win a medal in the 50 and 100 butterfly despite entering the competition as one of the seeds. In the 50 butterfly, Shields finished 7th overall with a time of 22.42, almost half a second below his season record and US record of 21.99. In the 100 butterfly, Shields touched in 49.80, one second off his season best time of 48.67, which still ranks him third in the world this season.
Earlier in the season, Striped shields of the 200 butterfly in the final of the season of the International Swimming League, leaving an empty lane in its place. Shields later revealed he suffered from “chills, dehydration and gastrointestinal issues.”