Highlands & Islands

Paralympian David Smith thanks supporters ahead of surgery

David Smith Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption David Smith had hoped to be part of this year's Rio Games

Scots Paralympian David Smith has told his supporters he has read every word of their messages wishing him the best ahead of surgery on a tumour.

The 37-year-old, from Aviemore, has already recovered from three rounds of surgery on it.

Smith, who won a rowing gold at the London Paralympics, had hoped to be part of the Great Britain Para-cycling team at the Rio Games this summer.

The need to have another lifesaving operation ended that dream.

In a message uploaded to the internet, Smith said: "Surgery is now here. Like any race in life I feel best prepared but also pretty scared."

He added: "It's going to be tough but I'm positive. I've read every message and that's given me so much strength."

Last month, Smith told BBC Radio Scotland's The Stephen Jardine Programme he had a love-hate relationship with the tumour.

While it caused him almost constant agonising pain, it has also led him to become a role model to others coping with health difficulties.

The paralympian also told the programme how sport had given him the mental and physical strength to deal with the tumour.

He said he had already prepared a timeline setting how, and by when, he plans to be able to cycle again.

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