Sportscaster in coma with rare disease after 3,000-mile bike ride to Rio Olympics

Charlie Webster, a well-known TV sports presenter in Britain, is fighting for her life in a Rio de Janeiro hospital after contracting a rare disease during a 3,000-mile charity bike ride to the Rio Olympics, according to The Sun and BBC

Sky News reported that Webster's agent confirmed that Webster is being treated for a rare strain of malaria and is in a coma and on life support.

Webster, 33, was part of a Ride to Rio team that cycled from the UK to Rio to raise money for a cancer charity. They traveled six weeks from London through France, Spain and Portugal before taking a flight to northern Brazil and continuing to cycle to Rio.

Webster attended the Opening Ceremony for the Rio Olympics but found herself in a hospital the next day, tweeting that after six weeks on the road, it ends with a "very rough day, severe dehydration and infection—two drips and antibiotics."

Two days later, Webster tweeted, "I'm getting there…awful few days with serious infection."

On August 11, her team tweeted that her ailment "has since been diagnosed as a severe complication caused by a bacterial infection."

On Thursday, her team tweeted a thanks for "messages of support" and linked to a Sun story with the headline, "She's battling for survival."

The Sun reported that Webster contracted the rare strain of malaria as she made her way to the Olympics and that medical specialists from Britain and the U.S. are being consulted about her treatment.

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A friend told The Sun, "Her kidneys stopped functioning and she was put on dialysis. Charlie's breathing became labored and she was unable to breath unsupported. Last Friday Charlie was put into an induced coma. She remains in an induced coma and is on life support."

Webster's mother, brother and manager flew in from the UK "to be by her side with friends fearing the worst," The Sun wrote.

The Sun also reported that a friend said that Webster "had checked the medical risks and been told she didn't need to take anti-malaria drugs because of where she was traveling."

"Charlie is battling for survival at the moment—everyone is distraught," an unidentified friend told The Sun. "But she is so strong and a very fit and healthy person in general so we have to keep positive."

Webster, who has worked for Sky Sports, ESPN, BBC and ITV, was in Rio as one of the official presenters for Team GB.

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