Paralympics bronze medalist Heike Eder: With positive thoughts and a little bit of ambition, anything is possible!

You will never be able to walk again.” That was the devastating diagnosis made by the doctors when I woke up in a German specialist clinic around 9 years ago after a serious skiing accident. But an inner voice told me "that can't have been it". With positive thoughts, a lot of willpower and ambition, I fought my way back - and today I'm standing here. on my own feet

I can still remember very well how I stood on skis for the first time when I was 5 years old. I was immediately "infected". Skiing became my great passion. As a student, I made it into the state squad, later took part in international FIS races and attended the ski high school in Stams/Tyrol. Even at that time I was often struggling with injuries such as torn cruciate ligaments or a tendon injury in my hand. Despite all these setbacks, I always gave my best and fought my way back. I never thought about quitting at that point.

Nine years ago I had a ski accident with serious consequences during ski training in Obergurgl. During giant slalom training, I got my hand caught in a gate and was thrown into a moat. The consequences were fatal: life-threatening internal injuries, a comminuted thigh fracture and an incomplete paraplegia that would accompany me from then on for the rest of my life.

The doctors said, "You'll never walk again."

When I woke up from the coma in a German special clinic a few days after the accident, the doctors had a terrible diagnosis: I would never be able to walk again. I don't know why or where it came from, but an inner voice told me at the time "that can't have been it". Deep down, I was adamant that I would continue to make progress. Although I was aware that I might not be able to walk “normally” because of the injuries, I at least didn't want to be dependent on a wheelchair anymore.

In my mind I imagined my muscles moving again. After feeling a tiny twitch, I knew it could be done if I just persisted and fought. Through luck, hard training and the unconditional support of my family and joy, I am now able to walk with crutches, have finished my studies and am a full-time employee. My passion for skiing is also unbroken despite my skiing accident.
I'm now back in ski races (with a monoskibob) in the junior squad of the ÖSV and I'm involved in the Ski for life initiative, which aims to get disabled people interested in skiing.

And even if I now lead a life with a disability, I can still honestly say that I am very happy with my life and do not quarrel with my fate for a moment.

My message to everyone who has a similar fate behind them or a hard path ahead of them is: With positive thoughts and a portion of ambition, anything is possible!