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Bibian Mentel-Spee takes Paralympic gold two months after cancer surgery

first_imgShare on Facebook The snowboard cross gold medallist Bibian Mentel-Spee (left) celebrates with Astrid Fina Paredes of Spain, who took bronze. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images, Share via Email Facebook Disability and sport Twitter Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands retained her Olympic snowboard cross title at the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang – only months after finishing treatment for cancer, which prevented her from competing for much of the past year.Having been diagnosed in July 2017 with cancer in her neck, oesophagus and ribs, she had expected her treatment to be over by October. However, in December she was informed by doctors that the tumour in her neck required further urgent surgery – giving her barely any time to prepare for the Games. Reuse this content Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Read more Millie Knight claims second medal with silver in the VI super-G at Paralympics Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. She described competing as a form of rehab for her. “I had all the more reason to stay on the couch with all that has been happening in the last couple of years,” she said. “But the best way I could treat my body and recover from all the surgeries and radiation and the cancer is to be as fit as possible and make sure that my immune system is as high as possible, which I do by playing sports.”Mentel-Spee became a Paralympian after having her right leg amputated below the knee after a bone cancer tumour was discovered while she was attempting to qualify for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.She won gold in the same event at Sochi in 2014, the first time the discipline was included in the Winter Olympics. Her Mentelity Foundation helps children with disabilities enjoy board sports, including snowboarding and skateboarding. news Before competing Mentel-Spee said: “I let go of my expectations for Pyeongchang. I’m really happy that I am able to go and that I can compete there. For me it is more important to compete there than to win. And just being there at the event with all my friends and showcasing the sport, that is the most important thing for me. I’m not really thinking about the results.”The 45-year-old, whose final operation was in January, was victorious in an all-Dutch final in Pyeongchang, edging out her team-mate Lisa Bunschoten for gold when she recovered faster after both women fell in the final race. Speaking to Paralympic.org, Mentel-Spee said of her treatment “It’s not easy to go through. Then again my doctor said it’s a no-brainer for me. You have to have this surgery to enjoy your life.” Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Topics Snowboarding Winter Paralympics 2018 Pinterest last_img

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