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Hanson career hangs in the balance

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SYDNEY, Australia -- The career of Australian Olympic swimming champion Brooke Hanson hangs in the balance after being electrocuted in a freak accident.

Hanson, who was part of the winning team in the 100 meters medley relay at the Athens Olympics, was hospitalized when she suffered a shock at a trade show in Melbourne while demonstrating a spa manufactured by one of her sponsors.

Hanson left hospital on Tuesday but her father Ian told the Sydney's Daily Telegraph that he remained concerned about his daughter.

"It's not good," he said. "Just when we think it's all coming good, she takes a turn for the worse. It's going to take time."

Hanson said his daughter could have died in the accident. "She's lucky to be alive, anything could have happened," he said.

"It's been a roller coaster. Most of the time she is just sleeping, which is symptomatic of the recovery after a shock, but she gets up every few hours with incredible pain in her arm.

"She doesn't remember much and she asks us what happened to put the pieces together. The doctors all said because she is super-fit, that really helped her."

Hanson could not say when the 29-year-old swimmer would return to training.

"We haven't really discussed it," he said. "I think it's going to be a day-by-day thing. There is no magical cure, you have to live through it."

Hanson also won a silver medal in the 100 breaststroke at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was awarded a gold for swimming a heat for the Australian team that won the 4x100 medley relay.

Later that year, Hanson was named as the outstanding female swimmer at the short-course world championships in Indianapolis after winning a record six titles.

She failed to make the Australian team for this year's world championships in Melbourne but is hoping to be back for next year's Olympics.


Hanson won six golds at the world short course championships in Indianapolis.

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