Courtesy THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
PETRA MAJDIC: A CASE STUDY IN AN OLYMPIAN’S HEART AND A LOVE OF COUNTRY
On Wednesday of this week I watched as an Olympic athlete put forth an epic effort that resulted in a spot on the podium in the Women’s Individual Sprint. The skier was the world’s best female cross-country sprinter Petra Majdic (MAD-itch) of Slovenia. The medal was a bronze, awarded to the athlete finishing third in a given event. But you would have a hard time convincing Majdic that the medal around her neck was anything other than "gold with little diamonds" in it. Majdic, driven by her love of country, strengthened by her determination of mind and powered by every last ounce of energy remaining in a broken body, managed to accomplish this feat after suffering severe injuries….four broken ribs and a collapsed lung….PRIOR to the qualifying races of the event. After the event, it was determined that the injuries sustained by Majdic were so severe that she would not be able to compete in any other events at the 2010 winter games. Though her competition had come to an end, the Slovenian athlete was not allowed to fly home due to her lung injuries.
Courtesy NBC OLYMPICS
Slovenia’s sportswoman of the year in three of the last four years slid off the course in an icy corner and tumbled down a 3-meter embankment landing on rocks and breaking both poles and a ski. "I was in pain and some volunteers helped me out.” Majdic said. “They wanted to take me to the medical center, but I yelled, 'take me to the start.'” Majdic then somehow managed to battle through four rounds of racing around the 1.5km loop to claim her bronze medal. Majdic got the first medal of these games for her country, the first Olympic cross-country medal for Slovenia, the nation's fifth overall (all bronze) and the first individual medal since 1994.
Courtesy AP photo
"This is not a bronze medal, this is a gold medal with little diamonds on it. I already won a medal for going to the start. The wish was so big because I have been fighting for this for 22 years," Majdic said.
There is no greater honor to be earned than one garnered in the pursuit of a goal greater than one’s self. Slovenia’s Petra Majdic is the Olympic example of this belief.
If ever an athlete deserved to be recognized in this forum for their efforts in the arena of their chosen sport, is has to be Petra Majdic. This Slovenian cross-country skier is without a doubt, A DAMN BEAST!!!
Check out a slideshow and video of Majdic’s fall HERE.
Another slideshow of Majdic competing in the Women’s Individual Sprint can be seen HERE.
Check out other articles on this magnificent competitor’s painful day at Whistler Olympic Park HERE and HERE and view the final medal results HERE.