As Charlie Webster fights for her life in Rio hospital after contracting Malaria, who is the sports presenter?

charlie webster


The 33-year-old has contracted a rare strain of the disease during a charity cycle

TV presenter Charlie Webster is on life support in a Rio de Janeiro hospital after contracting a rare strain of Malaria, while travelling to the Olympic Games.

The 33-year-old - who is in Rio to be one of the official presenters for Team GB - first fell ill around two weeks ago.

“Charlie is battling for survival at the moment – everyone is distraught," her friend told The Sun newspaper.

“But she is so strong and a very fit and healthy person in general so we have to keep positive.

“The doctors have now identified the very rare malaria strain she has contracted so she is receiving the right treatment in Rio, with advice being provided by the London School of Tropical Medicine.”

The presenter cycled 3,000 miles to Rio in a charity mile bike ride, which started in the UK and ended in Rio ahead of the Games in memory of Jane Tomlinson, an amateur English athlete who raised £1.85 million for charity, despite suffering from terminal cancer.

Making her way through France, Spain and Portugal, she then flew to north Brazil and rode to Rio in time for the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday August 5, one day after she arrived in the city.

While many will know Charlie for her work as a presenter, she's also a keen sportsperson, an activist for domestic abuse and has raised thousands for charity.

Born in Sheffield, Charlie has been a keen sportsman from a young age, participating in elite junior athletics during her school days, before heading to Newcastle University to study Language and Linguistics.

Best known as a sports reporter, Charlie first kick started her career with a move to Spain as a TV presenter for Real Madrid TV, before moving to Asia to work for ESPN.

Returning to the UK her career blossomed as she covered motorsports for BBC Look East, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Sports' and in 2010 became a regular presenter on Sky Sports News before leaving in March 2014.

She has continued to cover an array of sports for Sky Sports as well as appearing for other broadcasters.

In April 2014 made TV history when she became the first female presenter of boxing coverage for Eurosport 2 when Wladimir Klitschko defended his heavyweight belts against Alex Leapai.

A keen sports person herself Charlie has run ten marathons and completed the Ironman UK triathlon for charity Centrepoint. In 2014 she ran 250 miles over seven days for Women’s Aid to raise awareness of sexual and domestic abuse.

Speaking about her passion, she said last year: "Sport has always been a big part of my life. I’m qualified as a personal trainer and running coach. I love pushing myself to the limits physically and mentally and showing people that, no matter who you are, you can do anything."

Clearly not one to back down from a challenge she took part in the 2014 London triathlon while also presenting it for Channel 4.

Irish Mirror