September 27, 1972 |
During a practise run for the championships in Breckenridge she suffered an injury in her ankle. She completed the season, however the ankle remained a source of concern. X-rays showed a spot on her tibia which was diagnosed as a malign bone tumor. The tumor was removed and Mentel started training for the 2002 Winter Olympics for which she was qualified. Soon it became clear that the tumor had regrown and had a chance of spreading to the rest of her body via her blood. She chose to agree to have her leg amputated.
4 months after the amputation she was able to ride a snowboard again, despite being unable to walk using crutches. The following January she was asked to present the trophy at the Dutch championships halfpipe. She decided to join the Dutch championships snowboard cross which she won.
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