Friday March 26th 2021
Ventilation and artificial coma
Tande’s dramatic struggle for survival
Dramatic hours in Planica: After the Norwegian Daniel Andre Tande loses control of his flight on the spectacular hill and hits hard, the scene fears for the life of the 27-year-old. It is still unclear whether and what damage could remain in the long term.
For more than two hours, the entire ski jumping circus feared for the life of Daniel Andre Tande. Only then did the relieving news from the trauma department at the Ljubljana University Hospital follow: Tande, one of the best ski flyers in the world, is not in mortal danger. “But it is a serious situation,” said Norwegian sports director Clas Brede Braathen.
Even the day after Tande’s bad crash landing on the “Letalnica” in Planica, the situation was worrying. Tande, who was still ski flying world champion with the team in December, was put into an artificial coma for 24 hours to relieve the brain. The Norwegian also broke his collarbone. Further tests should provide information about the health of the 27-year-old.
“The most important thing for me is that it is not life-threatening,” emphasized Braathen, who is allowed to be present when waking up from artificial deep sleep, at VG. He thanked the first aiders at the hill, who had done a “fantastic job”. In any case, the shock was written on the face of the Norwegian team.
“We are like a small family, we travel so much together. To see such a fall with all the drama that goes with it, that is shocking,” said Braathen. And TV expert Anders Jacobsen, 2007 tour winner, added: “We think of his mother and his girlfriend.”
“If mistakes happen, it can end dramatically”
Tande had lost control in the trial run, hit the slope with full force after almost 100 meters and was flown unconscious to the hospital. Ski flying world champion Karl Geiger, whose turn it was after Tande, had noticed everything. “That’s a bad story. Sometimes you can be happy when you land on both feet,” said the Oberstdorf resident in the finish area.
The increasingly extreme distance hunting in ski flying sometimes harbors life-threatening risks. “That is the danger of skiing,” said the former successful Austrian trainer Alexander Pointner at Eurosport. However, when Tande fell, there were “no dangerous weather conditions” and “the hill was in perfect condition,” added Pointner.
Therefore, there is “no need for action”, because errors in ski flying would have “more serious effects” due to higher speeds, stronger air forces and higher flight curves than in ski jumping. The Austrian even sees a positive development in ski jumping in the recent past.
“Basically, our sport has developed in a very good direction over the years in terms of aviation safety,” said Pointner. A certain residual risk can never be ruled out with ski flying. “Ski flying,” Pointner emphasized, “can look so simple and aesthetic. But when mistakes happen, it can end dramatically.” Apparently, Tande was once again lucky in misfortune.