Colin Jackson has been making ice skating look effortless with partner Klabera Komini on Dancing on Ice, but he has recently revealed he is "in constant pain."
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The Olympian, 53, opened up about his joint problems, which have left him fearing he "could end up in a wheelchair."
Colin, who specialised in the 110m hurdles, is preparing to undergo stem cell treatment to repair his damaged knees – which he compared to those owned by a man in his 80s – in a final attempt to avoid joint replacement surgery.
"I’m in constant pain but you learn to live it with it," the BBC athletics commentator told the Mirror, adding: "On a good day, the pain level is three out of 10 but on a bad day it’s a 10."
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He continued: "I’ve got the body of a man in his mid-30s but the knees of a man in his mid-80s. I’ve had seven operations on my knees already – four on the right knee and three on the left knee."
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Costing £25,000, Colin's treatment will include one million stem cells injected into each knee before more cells are delivered via an IV drip.
The Olympian fears he could end up in a wheelchair if his stem cell therapy doesn't work
"I knew my knees were going to be a problem but I hadn’t started to feel it until I got into my 50s," said Colin, whose career left him with damage to his kneecaps, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. He also suffers from a degenerative condition that can make it difficult to get out of bed.
Although his participation in Dancing on Ice has left his family concerned for his health, Colin does not seem to think it will impact him – despite admitting to relying on warm-up exercises, paracetamol and ibuprofen before every training session.
Colin isn't letting his health prevent him from competing on Dancing on Ice
The former Strictly Come Dancing star explained: "I don’t believe my knees will hamper my progress on the show. That may sound contradictory because I am in pain, but I’m in pain every day anyway, whether I’m on the show or not.
"My family is worried and just keep telling me to be careful but I’m just not built that way. I love the challenge," he added. "Right now, I’ll compete and worry about things afterwards."
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