German gymnast champion paralysed

16th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2004 , BERLIN - German gymnast Ronny Ziesmer, who was due to participate at the Athens Olympics, will be paralysed for the rest of his life after a training accident earlier in the week, doctors said. The national all-round champion Ziesmer fell during a double somersault in a floor exercise on Monday, fractured his cervical vertebra and badly damaged his spinal cord. Doctors in Berlin managed to stabilise his spine to avoid further damage, but Ziesmar will be confined to a wheel-chair with paralys

16 July 2004

BERLIN - German gymnast Ronny Ziesmer, who was due to participate at the Athens Olympics, will be paralysed for the rest of his life after a training accident earlier in the week, doctors said.

The national all-round champion Ziesmer fell during a double somersault in a floor exercise on Monday, fractured his cervical vertebra and badly damaged his spinal cord.

Doctors in Berlin managed to stabilise his spine to avoid further damage, but Ziesmar will be confined to a wheel-chair with paralysed legs and arms.

"This is the worst incident I have seen," said head coach Andreas Hirsch.

German gymnastics federation supremo Rainer Brechtken said that such injuries could never be ruled out in the sport.

"We have less injuries compared to other sports, but when they occur the risks are much higher," he said.

Another German gymnast, Johannes Hablik, is paralysed since a 2002 accident, and so is China's Sang Lan following an incident at the Goodwill Games in 1998.

DPA

Subject: German news

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