Bibian Mentel-Spee takes Paralympic gold two months after cancer surgery

Dutch snowboarder retains her Olympic title despite spending much of 2017 undergoing radiation and surgical treatment for tumours

Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands retained her Olympic snowboard cross title at the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang – only months after finishing treatment for cancer, which prevented her from competing for much of the past year.

Having been diagnosed in July 2017 with cancer in her neck, oesophagus and ribs, she had expected her treatment to be over by October. However, in December she was informed by doctors that the tumour in her neck required further urgent surgery – giving her barely any time to prepare for the Games.

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