Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Roger Gracie was the latest fighter to admit having struggled with the highly contagious coronavirus.
Most patients might only experience mild symptoms when they test positive for COVID-19, but Gracie, a top athlete, was not fortunate enough be one of them. In an interview with Combate, the all-time great jiujitsu practitioner, detailed his rough experience, which included 10 days in bed with a high fever and violent coughing.
Although Gracie actually got as close getting into an ambulance, he ended up staying home and recovered from the sickness after enduring two grueling weeks.
“I got the virus, but I recovered two weeks ago. I was in very bad shape, in bedridden. It’s good to talk about it, because most people don’t know what it is like, they think they won’t be affected, that it won’t get to them,” he said. “I was bedridden for 10 days, with a fever of 104 degrees and coughing. I had shortness of breath one day, but that didn’t escalate, I’m glad. I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding fast, I couldn’t breathe. I called an ambulance, I actually got on. They ran the tests, called the head of medicine, and they thought it would be better if I stayed home.”
Gracie was not the only in his close circle to catch COVID-19. In the same interview, Roger says how his girlfriend also suffered from a fever almost as high as his, which the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt tells is the worst part of the sickness.
“I got scared when it didn’t get better. I got worried by day eight, because I thought I was getting better, my fever went down. The next day, it came back violently, I felt weak, weird. Every person feels it differently. My girlfriend got it, too, she had a fever of 102, 100 degrees for four days. She was weak, her body was aching, then it passed. My fever got up to 104. I coughed all the time. The fever is what destroys you, it gets pretty high.”
A retired mixed martial artist, Gracie (8-2) fought in the UFC, Strikeforce and ONE. The 38-year-old is among the best ever Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners, winning 10 world championships and many other grappling accomplishments.