Sky News presenter Jacquie Beltrao, who has stage 4 breast cancer, gets her first tattoo at 56 to mark Olympic success 37 years ago – saying she was ‘inspired’ by Tom Daley’s body art
- Irish Sky Sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao, 56, got a belated Olympics tattoo
- She competed in gymnastics at the Los Angeles Olympic games in 1984
- The TV personality has been vocal about her fight with stage 4 breast cancer
- In July, she announced she felt ‘unbelievable’ after receiving a clear scan
Sky News sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao has revealed she’s had some ‘Olympic ink’ to mark her own gymnastic achievements 37 years ago.
Beltrao, 56, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, took part in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games in rhythmic gymnastics when she was 19, and was British Champion.
Inspired by Tom Daley and Simone Biles in Tokyo, who both have the Olympic rings tattooed on their skin, the mother-of-three decided to get similar body art on her shoulder to mark her own sporting achievements.
The sports presenter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and saw the disease return in 2020 as a grade 4 cancer. She’s currently undergoing treatment and regularly updates her 84,000 followers on Twitter.
Sharing a video of herself having the artwork, she wrote: ‘It barely hurt at all!’
Proud: Sky News sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao, 56, has revealed she got an Olympic tattoo to mark her participation in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics
The former athlete shared the news with her fans on Twitter, joking she didn’t want to act her age
Beltrao had previously told followers: ‘Well Tom Daley has one, Simone Biles has one so inspired by Tokyo 2020, I got some Olympic ink of my own – just 37 years after LA ’84! What can I say I was feeling rebellious.’
‘Yes, I know I should act my age but I don’t want to,’ she added.
The sports broadcaster completed the message with a hashtag reading ‘Once an Olympian always an Olympian’ and tagged in Team GB.
Jacquie was known as Jacqueline Leavay when she competed at the age of 19 in the all round competition, coming in 31st place. It was the first year the discipline was introduced at the Olympics.
Tom Daley, who struck gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this year in the men’s synchronized 10-metre platform and became the first British diver to win four Olympic medals, got his Olympic tattoo in 2012 when he won the bronze medal in the 10m men’s platform event.
Meanwhile, American gymnast Simone Biles got her first Olympic ink after dominating the 2016 Rio Olympics.
After bringing home five Olympic medals in one go, including four gold and one bronze, the athlete celebrated by getting the five Olympic rings tattooed on her elbow in black ink in 2017.
Some 67,000 people on Twitter have viewed the video of Beltrao going under the tattooist’s needle. Right: Aged 19, Jacquie, then known as Jacqueline Leavy, and was the National Overall British Champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics
A close-up of Simone Biles showing her Olympic tattoo, which she got in 2017, a year after winning four gold medals during the Rio Olympics. Right: Tom Daley, pictured, got the Olympic rings tattooed on his bicep after taking part in the 2012 Olympic Games in London (pictured at the Tokyo Olympics)
Earlier this year, the Sky sports presenter said she felt ‘unbelievable’ after being told that there was ‘no evidence’ of her cancer following a scan.
Jacquie said at the time: ‘I’m living proof anything is possible’. She revealed in June 2020 that she was facing a second battle with breast cancer after doctors first told her she had the disease in 2013.
The former Olympic gymnast told The Sun at the time: ‘It was almost a year ago that my cancer had returned and that it was worse than ever.
‘I had feared the worst and had times when I’d hear a piece of music and think, ‘That’ll be good for my funeral’.
‘There were dark days, so to be told there is no evidence of cancer now is unbelievable.
‘I was expecting bad news or, at best, that my aggressive cancer hadn’t got worse. But to be told there is no evidence of it now is beyond my wildest dreams.’
Celebration: Sky News sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao, 56, has said that she feels ‘unbelievable’ after receiving a clear scan amid her stage 4 breast cancer battle
Tough: Jacquie revealed in June 2020 that she was facing a second battle with breast cancer after doctors first told her she had the disease in 2013
She added that she had thought she had only had two years left to live but now she can ‘enjoy life again’, before adding that she is ‘living proof that anything is possible’.
Jacquie also called on others to be vigilant about potential cancer symptoms and not to delay seeing a doctor.
Last Saturday she celebrated receiving a clear scan on Saturday amid her stage 4 breast cancer battle.
Taking to Instagram she posted a heartwarming video where she exclaimed: ‘I know it’s not forever but I’m going to take it for now. A bit of good news at last and I’m so happy!’
Writing a lengthy statement alongside the video, the presenter penned: ‘I’m not cured – make no mistake – there is no cure for Stage 4 cancer but for now the scan is clear. It’s the best I can hope for. For now ……and I’m so so so grateful.’
In the video, Jacquie held a makeshift Sky News card which read: ‘Breaking Sky News news.’
The presenter explained: ‘So I’ve got some breaking news… scans are in and…’ she then dropped the card to reveal another one which said: ‘No evidence of cancer!’
Jacquie continued: ‘I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it. I know it’s not forever but I am going to take it for now. A bit of good news at last and I’m so happy!’
Happy: Last Saturday she celebrated receiving a clear scan on Saturday amid her stage 4 breast cancer battle
Yay!: Taking to Instagram she posted a heartwarming video where she exclaimed: ‘I know it’s not forever but I’m going to take it for now. A bit of good news at last and I’m so happy!’
The presenter penned alongside the video: ‘#Breaking scans are in and ….. FINALLY a bit of good news – progress – amazing b****y progress.
‘So very grateful to my oncologist Muireann, my surgeon Mr Sharma, my guardians and guides @joannapeixoto @julialeckeyauthor @elenhughes9 Annette Burns in Ireland @louisa.breathebalancebe.
‘@how_to_starve_cancer @nicole_hill65 for all the encouragement @trishlighthouse108 for light & love & her singing bowl @millbrae123 for all the Shabbat Shalom every Friday.
‘ALL my friends and colleagues and to my amazing, strong beautiful family @mreduardob @ameliaabeltrao @tiagoobeltrao @jorgebeltrao_ & the magical dogs plus my sisters Susu & Lorraine who are never far away.’
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer develops from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.
When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding breast tissue it is called an ‘invasive’ breast cancer. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.
Most cases develop in women over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men though this is rare.
Staging means how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.
The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast growing. High grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.
What causes breast cancer?
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.
Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer, such as genetics.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most breast lumps are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign.
The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
- Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under the microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.
If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.
- Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
- Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focussed on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops cancer cells from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
- Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying
- Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.
How successful is treatment?
The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.
The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 mean more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
For more information visit breastcancercare.org.uk, breastcancernow.org or www.cancerhelp.org.uk
acquie continued: ‘I know this isn’t permanent things could have changed again by my next scan, that the drugs stop working or whatever but…. for now in the here and now this is the best I could hope for.
‘I lost my beloved Mother-in-law Anna yesterday – it was a horrible day. This news, my scan news, came two hours later and helped us all. Anna would have been so happy and relieved.
‘I’m sure she is still and is raising a glass in heaven as we speak, I would have loved to have shared this news with her. But I’m sharing it with you all because I’ve had so much lovely support this year – it’s made a world of difference in a terrible year.
‘I hope people can get a little bit of hope from my story. I’m not cured – make no mistake – there is no cure for Stage 4 cancer but for now the scan is clear. It’s the best I can hope for. For now ……and I’m so so so grateful.’
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