Grunberg fights on after Pole Vault accident leaves her paralysed
Just moments later, her career was finished, her life irrevocably changed.
After a vault went wrong, Grunberg landed on her head beside the crash mats, fracturing her cervical vertebrae, which left her paralysed. Her parents were at the track watching at the time of her accident, and after several hours of surgery at the Innsbruck’s University Clinic, were given the devastating news that their daughter was quadriplegic.
The statement from the clinic was brief, and for all those close to Grunberg, utterly heartbreaking.
“After we had diagnosed paraplegia before the operation, the patient received emergency surgery in order to stabilise her spine and avoid further damage,” it read. “At the moment, the continuation of her sporting career is not an option.”
Grunberg thanked the public for their support via her Facebook page in recent days. “Your support provides me with the strength to fight every day,” she wrote. “I promise not to give up.”
The Austrian Association of Athletics Federations announced it would provide an emergency fund of €10,000 for Grunberg. Only two weeks after her dramatic accident during a training jump, the Austrian athlete of the year was visited by the Austrian president Heinz Fischer one day before her 22nd birthday. Fischer, accompanied by his wife Margit, visited Grünberg at the university hospital in Innsbruck.
Here’s a training feature on Grunberg for Austrian television earlier this year.
A donation page has been set up to assist Grunberg’s family with medical costs. To make a contribution, visit www.donationkira.com