Bitter cold accompanied the Diagonela, a cross-country ski race held last Saturday in Graubünden. Several runners risk an amputation.
Runners who have taken part in the Diagonela, a 60-kilometer cross-country ski race held every year in Graubünden, are at risk of amputated fingers or toes due to the extreme conditions encountered during the competition last weekend.
In some places, a temperature of -28 degrees was recorded, forcing several athletes to retire before the end of the race, which had already been shortened by 5 kilometers by the organizers. The 2021 edition was won by two Swedes, Oskar Kardin in the men, and Jenny Larsson in the women.
After a few days of recovery, several participants shared their misadventures on social networks.
Swede Michael Eklof has a completely frozen toe and is suffering from necrosis. He could soon be amputated. “My left toe is in the worst condition and its prognosis is critical. Of course, it hurts, but it’s bearable. Only time will tell if I will succeed in saving him. I will try to get all possible help to make the most of it, ”he said on the site. Nordicmag.info.
“The runners were not really prepared”
The German Patrick Ottilinger also risks an amputation. “I can’t feel two of my fingers anymore, one of which has turned completely blue. According to the doctors, my only solution is to wait, to try to heat my fingers and hope they will heal, ”lamented the runner.
Andreas Nygaard was luckier. The Norwegian, who finished second in men, has frozen fingers but should not undergo amputation, specifying on Instagram that “the operation went well”.
Despite many withdrawals and warnings from the riders during the race, Diagonela manager David Nilsson did not see fit to interrupt the competition.
“It’s sad for all those who have been affected, he said after the race, quoted by the site rt.com. But the rules are clear and I think we made the right decision. It is important that skiers also adapt their clothes and equipment to the weather. It hasn’t been that cold for a long time, maybe the riders weren’t really prepared for these conditions. ”