August 1, 2016 / 4:35 PM / 3 years ago

Stroke survivor making Games debut aged 54

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Making an Olympic debut aged 54 is some feat in itself, but for Brazilian trap shooter Janice Teixeira it surely comes second to confounding medics with a remarkable recovery from a stroke.

An undated handout photo of Brazilian trap shooter Janice Teixeira who will make an Olympic debut at age 54, and after recovering from a stroke. REUTERS/Brazilian Olympic Committee/Handout

Teixeira suffered the scare at the 2008 Beijing Games while working as a TV commentator.

“I was taken to the hospital with the entire left side of my body paralyzed. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t pronounce a word,” she said.

But 40 minutes later the Brazilian was showing no symptoms, in a case that baffled doctors.

“Even the medical team had a hard time understanding how it happened,” Teixeira said.

The oldest member of the Brazilian team, Teixeira said a team of doctors who reviewed her test results could not explain her recovery, other than her healthy lifestyle.

“I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and I don’t eat anything fat. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I have exercised since I was seven,” she said.

Teixeira is hoping those habits will mean there is no end in sight to her sporting ambitions.

“There really is no age factor in shooting. If you think I’m here at the Rio Olympic Games to finish my career, you’re so wrong.

“I will be fighting for a spot at Tokyo 2020. What happened to me was very serious, but I am here to show the whole world that if you want something, you can do it.”

Writing by Ossian Shine; Editing by Rex Gowar

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