Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has gone into more detail about the scary effect that his positive test for COVID-19 had on his life.
The 35-year-old - just voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year - contracted coronavirus at the start of December and had ti sit out the second-last race of the season.
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The seven-time world champion returned to cap off an another remarkable year by claiming a podium finish in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In the build-up to the season finale, Hamilton revealed how contracting COVID-19 had left him feeling "destroyed" and he warned people not to take the virus lightly.
Posting on Instagram today, the Mercedes driver shared an update of himself at the gym and explained the brutal toll the virus had taken on his body.
“I’ve lost 6kg over the past two months, 4 of which I lost when I got COVID,” Hamilton wrote. “I’ve lost so much muscle.
“Starting from a low point in strength now, not fun but I’m determined to get my strength back and to be 100% again.
“No pain no gain.”
Hamilton admitted before the final race of the season last week that the virus had left him physically drained.
“All year, physically, I have been fine, but today I definitely wasn’t. I am just glad it’s over,” he said at the time.
“COVID is not a joke and people all over the world are out there losing their lives — it should not be treated that way. It’s really tough.”
F1 champ claims award for second time
Hamilton claimed BBC Sport's Sports Personality of the Year award over contenders Jordan Henderson of Liverpool FC, jockey Hollie Doyle, snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan, cricketer Stuart Broad and boxer Tyson Fury.
He previously won the award in 2014 on the back of his second F1 title victory, and Hamilton has now become a two-time SPOTY winner in a season in which he beat Michael Schumacher's win record and matched the German driver's tally of seven titles.
Hamilton was also recognised for his support of global social issues, having set up the Hamilton Commission to help drive equality within motorsport and STEM subjects, along with his willingness to spread awareness of systemic racism and inequality in other areas of society.
He finished second in the previous two SPOTY votes, which are conducted by the public, and lost out to cyclist Geraint Thomas in 2018 and cricketer Ben Stokes last year. Hamilton also finished second in 2007 and 2008, following an impressive start to his F1 career.
In a video message, Hamilton thanked the voters for their support and offered a message of positivity while accepting his award.
“I just want to say congratulations to all the incredible nominees because I'm so proud of what they have achieved this year and I really want to say thank you for everyone that's called in and voted for me,” he said. “I really wasn't expecting this knowing that there's so many great contenders.
“But I think we're all winners, and I really want to send a Merry Christmas to everyone. I know it's been such an unusual year, but to all the frontline workers and all the children around the world: please try and stay positive through this difficult time.
“I'm sending everyone positivity and, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
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