Matthew Glaetzer: From cancer to a shot at Tokyo Olympics track cycling medal

PRUSZKOW POLAND MARCH 02 Matthew Glaetzer of Australia competes in the Mens sprint qualifying race on day four of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships held in the BGZ BNP Paribas Velodrome Arena on March 02 2019 in Pruszkow Poland Photo by Dean MouhtaropoulosGetty Images
Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the one-year delay of the Tokyo Olympics have undoubtedly had a profound impact on the Australian track sprint team, including the loss of a serious gold medal opportunity with the retirement of Stephanie Morton, but on the flip side it has given a core part of the men’s sprint squad, Matthew Glaetzer, time to rebuild. 

It is an understatement to say that the 28-year-old South Australian faced a difficult run in to his third Olympics, particularly if it had been held in 2020 as scheduled. Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in November of 2019 and undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous growth wasn’t the end of his challenges as his return was then interrupted when he sustained a leg injury in training in February of 2020.

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