FILE PHOTO: Speed Skating – ISU Short Distance Speed Skating World Championship – Arena Armeets, Sofia, Bulgaria – March 9, 2019 Dutch woman Lara van Ruijven celebrates after the women’s 500m semi-final REUTERS / Stoyan Nenov / File Photo
(Reuters) – Dutch short-distance speed skater Lara van Ruijven is in critical condition after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and shows no signs of recovery, the Royal Dutch Skating Federation (KNSB) said on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Olympic champion was admitted to a hospital in Perpignan, France last week after becoming ill during a training camp. Since then, her health has deteriorated.
The KNSB said Van Ruijven’s condition had not improved after two operations and was still in intensive care.
“Lara is currently fighting for her life,” said Dutch short-distance coach Jeroen Otter in a statement.
“With incredible stamina, she won the world championship on ice, but this fight is a lot tougher.
“We all sympathize with her and wholeheartedly hope that she will come out well.”
Van Ruijven won the 500-meter world title at the Sofia Championships last year and an Olympic bronze medal in the 3,000-meter relay at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
Hardik Vyas reporting in Bengaluru; Edited by Christian Radnedge