Olympic medalist left quadriplegic after accident during hockey match

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The captain of team HV71 suffered a neck injury when she collided with the goal post during the first period of a Swedish Women's Hockey League game against Djurgårdens. (Photo:Instagram)
The captain of team HV71 suffered a neck injury when she collided with the goal post during the first period of a Swedish Women's Hockey League game against Djurgårdens. (Photo:Instagram)

Sanna Hakala, a two-time Olympic medalist with the Finnish national hockey team, found herself in a distressing situation when she was paralyzed from the chest down, with reduced function in her arms and hands, following an accident during a match in Sweden. The captain of team HV71 suffered a neck injury when she collided with the goal post during the first period of a Swedish Women’s Hockey League game against Djurgårdens.

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The game was immediately interrupted due to the seriousness of the incident. The 26-year-old player was promptly taken to a local hospital and, due to the seriousness of the injury, was transferred to Linköping University Hospital where she underwent surgery. In a message shared on his social networks, Hakala expressed the difficulty in understanding what happened, considering that the collision with the beam was apparently not that serious, but the consequences were devastating.

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“Not only was I forced to end my hockey career, something that was a significant part of my life for many years, but I also face the prospect of spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” lamented the athlete. She explained that the injury resulted in paralysis from the chest down, with limited function in the arms and hands, and emphasized the need to focus all energy on rehabilitation to recover as best as possible.

Hakala asked for privacy and respect for her situation, requesting that both she and HV71 not be questioned about the injury or the situation, and expressed gratitude for their consideration at such a challenging time for her and her family.

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