Justin Park is an American professional triathlete whose heart problems date to his high school days. He had several episodes of fainting, or syncope, and was found to have congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS). I’ve written about this condition here at the blog. Individuals with LQTS are predisposed to have episodes of syncope or even sudden cardiac death, so Park received a recommendation that he not continue to participate in sports. A number of years later, his physicians determined that his risk for these problems was not high and he took up triathlon. Interestingly, he has also had difficulty with at least one episode of atrial fibrillation in 2010 that may have been due to underlying thyroid disease. He writes about these issues at his blog.
Chris Legh is an Australian professional triathlete who has enjoyed considerable success over many years in long course triathlon, with 2 Ironman wins and many 70.3 wins to his credit. He is also a 6-time Australian champion in Xterra. Starting in 2003 he had difficulties with breathing during the later stages of races that prompted evaluation that disclosed a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a type of atrial septal defect (ASD)–a (usually) small hole in the heart between the left and right atrium. In his case, there must have been enough blood flow through that opening to cause fluid build-up in the lungs and difficulty breathing. I’ve written here at the blog about athletes and ASD. In a Q&A with Slowtwitch, Legh talks about this condition and other health problems he’s dealt with in recent years.