April 2018 Sport As Rehab
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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, the 45-year-old 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. And, because of her condition, most of her sponsors had given up on her, so Bibian had to rely on crowdfunding to pay for her participation in the Paralympics.
Describing her rehab, Bibian said: “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.”