Written by Nick Hobbs
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Thursday, 10 March 2011

image for Paralympic Rower Faces Illness Set Back In Gold Glory
Rowing would be easier with an engine.

Jed Simpson, Britain's leading rower heading for the London 2012 Paralympics, has had his bid for gold put in jeopardy.

The Sunderland born sportsman has contracted woodworm in his left leg.

Simpson had noticed sawdust appearing in his bed over the past few weeks, but assumed he must have just been grinding his legs in his sleep. However, a hairline crack appeared last Tuesday, a result of the internal weakening of the structure caused by the parasitic larvae.

The wood boring beetle has caused havoc in cupboards and dining room furniture for centuries, but this is the first known case of human infection.

Simpson was rushed to a local carpenters for emergency preservation treatment, and head cabinet maker Brian Lough told us "Jed is in a stable condition, he's comfortable. But he's not out of the wood yet."

"We have treated his leg with creosote, but unfortunately due to British regulations it is a water based product, not the full strength product like we used to get. For that he would need to go abroad, and that has it's own moral implications."

Simpson lost his leg at the knee in 1983, at the age of 11, whilst playing with agricultural machinery. He had a wooden appendage fitted shortly after and took up rowing for his school, at which he excelled.

Scoring several awards and a gold at the European championships, he was selected as head of the Paralymic team three years ago.

His wooden leg was crafted by designer Thannett Henderson, chainsaw sculpter to the stars, and is said to be worth over £3000. It had a sock distinctively carved on to it. Henderson is said to be in consultation throughout the preservation process.

This set back has placed doubt on Simpson's fitness for next years event. Although pundits wooden rule him out completely.

Updates as they come.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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