Utrechts very own triple paralympic snowboard champion Bibian Mentel has finally retired. After she won in Pyeongchang she told us it would be her last performance at a Paralympic Games, and true to her word she will no longer compete at the elite level again.
Since being diagnosed with cancer at age 27, Bibian Mentel has been treated for cancer nine times, including five surgeries. The most recent one, in January 2018, replaced a vertebrae with a titanium frame.
In 2016, when her son was 13, she was told by doctors that her cancer was terminal, but she switched to another hospital, got another diagnosis and after receiving advanced MRI-guided treatment, she pulled through, and so amazingly she was able to compete successfully in 2018, she is a true warrior and takes her fight out to the slopes in what has been an incredibly successful sporting career to go alongside her fight for health.
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Bibian Mentel won gold at the snowboard cross during the Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014, a title that she managed to extend in Pyeongchang four years later. In South Korea she also won gold on the banked slalom component.
She promises that she will always keep snowboarding and will perhaps do some games if she is invited, but she will no longer compete on the World Cup circuit.
So Bibian Mentel will remain active in snowboarding, now for her own pleasure and the Utrecht-born paralympian becomes an ambassador to the International Paralympic Committee.
In 2012 Mentel decided to set up her own “Mentelity Foundation“, through which she hopes to stimulate, motivate, and inspire children and adolescents with a physical disability to engage in sports, both in general, as well as in extreme board sports in particular.
Through the Foundation she wants to make a positive contribution to the mental and physical development of the physically disabled.
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