Olympic gold and silver medalist (along with a sixth-place finish at last year’s Games in Tokyo) Nicola Spirig suffered a fractured collarbone and two broken ribs in a bike accident on Sunday. The Swiss star had planned on racing at Ironman 70.3 Dubai in March, but will now be sidelined for six weeks as she recovers.
“I had an accident with my bike on Sunday during a training ride and suffered two broken ribs and a fractured collarbone,” Spirig said in a post on Instagram. “I was in very good hands at Balgrist University Hospital and was successfully operated on this morning, but will only be allowed to train on a limited basis for the next six weeks. This means that I will not be able to start the season at the Ironman in Dubai on March 5 as planned, but I am glad that nothing worse has happened and I am looking forward to later competitions. Many thanks for the great support from doctors, my team and environment.”
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The question is how this will affect Spirig’s participation in the Sub7/ Sub8 project alongside Lucy Charles-Barclay, Kristian Blummenfelt and Alistair Brownlee. The date hasn’t been finalized for that race, and one would assume that Spirig will have some time to get back into form – the other three members of the team will all be competing at the Ironman World championship in St. George, Utah in May, so a late June date for that event seems most likely.
In addition to her many Olympic and short-course top finishes over the years, Spirig has been outstanding over the Ironman 70.3 distance over the years. As she geared up for each of her Olympic medals she won numerous half-distance races, and last year she won five half-distance races including Challenge events in Gran Canaria, Walchsee, Davos and Peguera Mallorca, along with Ironman 70.3 Nice.
Spirig had attended two Olympics before she graduated from law school in 2010 (19th in Athens and sixth in Beijing). She’s somehow managed to balance five Olympic appearances with family life – she has three children with husband Reto Hug, a former professional triathlete. A look at this video put together by her run sponsor On certainly provides some insight on how she manages to balance all that she does, and why we can expect her to return to racing at the highest level soon.