We’re twin sisters, 27, who both secretly battled same disease… now we’re plotting Olympic gold at Paris 2024 together

TWO TWIN sisters aiming to bring back Olympic gold for Team GB this summer have been battling the same disease since being 13.

The 27-year-old Londoners Lina and Laviai Nielsen first started to dream of representing their country in the relay race together while chasing around the primary school field.

Twin sisters Laviai and Lina Nielsen are hoping to bring back the gold this summerCredit: Rex
The success of the siblings is even more remarkable after the pair were diagnosed with the same diseaseCredit: Reuters

That looked set to become reality when they were selected for Britain’s 4x400m team at the 2017 European Indoor Championships.

However, after a stress fracture in her foot ruled Lina out, it took another five years before the pair were chosen together again.

But they were unable to compete alongside each other at the 2022 World Championships as Lina suffered a relapse of the multiple sclerosis that both sisters suffer from.

Up until that point in their careers they had kept it secret after originally being diagnosed aged 13, but the flare-up prompted them to finally reveal their story.


Laviai is still yet to suffer major symptoms like her sister, and she told BBC Sport: “We’re still deciding not to take medicine because we’re not sure of the side effects.

“We’ve always been pretty good with our diet and nutrition, but after Lina’s flare-up we’ve taken it even more seriously. So far it’s all gone well.”

Despite those previous setbacks, the duo are hoping it will be third time lucky after being chosen together again for the World Indoor Championships this weekend in Britain’s 4x400m team.

Laviai explained how they hope to not only make it to at least the final, but that she is desperate to compete over 400m hurdles and join her sister in a bid for Olympic gold at the Paris Games this summer.

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And Laviai tried to put into words just exactly what it would mean if they were to stand together on the relay podium.

She said: “We would definitely celebrate it greatly. It would be huge.”

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Lina, who finally made her international debut in 2022, has now switched and made the 400m hurdles her primary individual event.

She added: “There have been so many setbacks along the way.

“It’s the nature of sport – it is cut-throat. Sometimes you need luck on your side.

“Hopefully we’re all good this time round. It can’t get better than finally racing together in front of a home crowd.”

The sisters are hoping it’ll be third time a charm at the World Indoor ChampionshipsCredit: Getty
Laviai Nielsen pictured winning the 400m ahead of Lina in Birmingham this monthCredit: Rex

Source: Athletics -


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