It’s always hard to watch a hero fall, especially when that fall is precipitated by an injury rather than an element in their control. Venus Williams, older sister of Serena Williams, was once ranked number one in the world in women’s tennis but has now fallen to number thirty four as a result of her debilitating back injury.
Venus’s back injury isn’t the only health obstacle the athlete faces. She has publicly shared her battle with an autoimmune disease known as Sjogren’s syndrome. This condition, which is more prevalent in women, causes the body’s natural immune cells to turn on and attack the glands that are responsible for creating saliva and tears. This condition has negative effects on an individual’s energy level and can cause a number of health related complications.
Rather than letting autoimmune disease take her out of the game, Venus has fought hard to overcome the significant obstacles it presents. She feels that every win she earns on the court is not only a personal victory, but a victory for everyone who struggles to conquer an illness. If you want to place a bet on her now, you will see that the odds have tumbled due to the improvement in her health she has seen.
But now Venus has the added burden of her debilitating back pain to deal with, which she says is due to inflammation. The injury forced her and her sister Serena to pull out of the recent doubles competition in Paris. And after playing at Wimbledon for sixteen years in a row (beginning in 1997) and winning an impressive five titles there, Venus pulled out of the Grand Slam tournament this year because of her injury. She says that her back inflammation is especially deleterious to her playing because the pain makes it impossible for her to serve forcefully, which severely limits her abilities on the court. But with Venus’s fighting spirit, she’ll no doubt battle her way back onto the court soon.