From world champion to third degree brain damage and a goal to walk by Christmas, this is the story of how ski cross star Anna Holmlund continues to beat all the odds.
At the peak of her career Anna was number one in the world cup for ski cross and finished third in OS 2014 Sochi. Her goal then was to win every title possible and to always evolve, this to be the best ski crosser in the world. Today Annas goals looks a bit different yet much the same.
On this day, Anna Holmlund, an Olympic medalist in her sport, was training in San Candido, Italy, in preparation of a world cup ski cross race. A routine training run which she has done so many times before this time ended with a devastating crash, in which she suffered a severe head injury. Anna was immediately flown to the hospital in Bolzano, where she had surgery to stop two bleedings in her brain and fell into a coma.
Two weeks after the crash Anna was flown home to Sweden, where she was immediately taken care of at an intensive care unit at Karolinska hospital. The damage on her brain was more severe than what anyone first anticipated. She was later moved to a rehabilitation clinic in Danderyd, Stockholm.
After a long period in a coma, she woke up to a new reality and had a long road ahead of her. She was, and still is, facing the toughest battle of her life, where the first two years in her rehabilitation process are crucial to how far she will come in her recovery.
One of the first things that caught Annas attention after she had awoke, was a drawing next to her hospital bed. The drawing, made by a little girl, showed a heart and the words: the worlds best skier, written onto it. With wonder in her eyes Anna turned over to her parents asking “Am I the best in the world?”
In July 2017, a decision was made to move Anna back to her hometown of Sundsvall where she could continue her treatment and her road to recovery in proximity of her family and friends. This started a new chapter in her rehabilitation process, where she is given continued treatment, but to which extent is still very unsure.
On October 14, the skicross star showed the world, in her first official appearance, how far strong will has taken her after the severe accident. Together with the cross-country star and her friend Charlotte Kalla, she opened a roller ski track on Alnö outside Sundsvall, with a big smile on her face.
Anna is now able to communicate in short periods of time. Small tasks that used to be simple to her, are now very energy consuming and her short term memory is not yet present. But one thing to remember is that she has gone from condemned to setting up new goals for her own future with the help and care of others. Her goal to evolve is still there and makes her challenge herself and work hard everyday.
All donations goes straights to Annas rehabilitation and future.
Anna gives her greatest thanks to everyone who already have, does and continues to support her on this journey.