Imran Sherwani: Olympic hockey gold medalist reveals early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s


Sherwani, who won gold with Great Britain at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, said he expected not to be able to remember his athletic exploits.

He scored two goals in the men’s hockey final against West Germany, one of the most memorable moments of the Games that year.

“Where, oh where were the Germans? And frankly, whatever?” shouted BBC commentator Barry Davies when Sherwani scored GB’s third goal in their 3-1 win.

Sherwani, 59, said he was diagnosed with the disease in 2019, but first noticed signs seven years ago.

Although Alzheimer’s disease is more common in people over the age of 65, about one in 20 cases can affect people between the ages of 40 and 65, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

“At first my mood changed and I became withdrawn. I wanted to be alone and not talk to people,” Sherwani said.

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“Eventually I got to the point where I was about to crack because the situation was straining me, so I went to the doctor.

“This led to a three-year journey of brain testing and scans until I was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” he added.

Asked by the BBC Wednesday if he expects to forget the highlights of his athletic career, he added: “It will happen.”

Every day, nearly 600 people in the UK develop dementia, according to the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, which has partnered with Sherwani.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more than 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia, and more than 42,000 people live with early-onset dementia – people whose symptoms started before the age of 65.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a decline in cognitive ability in older people, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause.

Sherwani’s gold medal with the British hockey team was one of five the country won at the 1988 Olympics.

The final match was one of the highlights of the competition and was widely watched in the UK.

It was the first time GB had won gold in men’s hockey in 68 years.

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