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Finnish Olympic Hockey Star Sanni Hakala Paralyzed After In-Game Collision

Finnish Olympic Hockey Star Sanni Hakala Paralyzed After In-Game Collision
Published 3 months ago on Dec 01, 2023

In a devastating turn of events, Sanni Hakala, the two-time Olympic medalist and captain of HV71, finds herself paralyzed from the chest down with reduced function in her arms and hands after a harrowing in-game collision last Friday in Sweden. The 26-year-old forward suffered a neck injury when she crashed head-first into the goalpost during the first period of a Swedish Women’s Hockey League game against Djurgårdens.

Hakala's injuries forced officials to postpone the game, and she was immediately stretchered off the ice. Following the incident, she was first taken to a nearby hospital and later transported to the University Hospital in Linköping, where she underwent surgery.

Expressing the gravity of her situation on Instagram, Hakala wrote, “It is still hard to understand what has happened, that the crash into the goal post was as serious as it was, that the consequences have become so big.” She continued, “Not only that I am forced to stop playing hockey, something that has been a big part of my life for many years, but that I may be forced to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of my life."

The 26-year-old athlete has been a prominent figure in Finnish hockey, making her international debut with the country’s Under-18 team in 2013. Hakala's remarkable career includes two Bronze medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022. Additionally, she secured a silver medal at the world championships in 2019 and bronze medals in 2017 and 2021.

Now facing a life-altering situation, Hakala acknowledged the challenges ahead, saying, “I understand that I am now facing a long and hard fight with my body and the toughest game of my life.”

Hakala had recently signed a contract extension in April, committing to her eighth season with HV71. The club released a statement, noting that Hakala faces a "long period of rehabilitation" following her surgery.

Addressing her recovery journey, Hakala added, “Now I need to focus all my energy on the rehabilitation so that I can recover as well as possible. Therefore, me and HV71 will not leave further comments regarding my injury or situation, and I ask you all to show consideration and respect for me and my family."

Despite the grim circumstances, Hakala expressed resilience and determination, saying, “This situation obviously sucks, but I’m not scared to take it on. I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I know it will be f-king awesome.”

The hockey community and fans around the world rally behind Sanni Hakala as she embarks on a challenging path of recovery and rehabilitation.

Is ice hockey winter sport?

Yes, ice hockey is a winter sport. It is played on ice, and players wear skates. The game is typically played outdoors in cold weather, but it can also be played indoors in an ice rink.

An ice hockey game is divided into three periods, each of which is 20 minutes long. There is a break between each period, so the total game time is 60 minutes.

Yes, there are plays in ice hockey. A play is a series of actions that are performed by the players on the ice. Plays can be offensive or defensive, and they can be designed to score a goal or prevent the other team from scoring a goal.

To score in ice hockey, a player must shoot the puck into the opponent's net. The net is located at the end of the rink, and it is guarded by a goalie. The goalie's job is to stop the puck from going into the net.

Songs: Ice hockey is a fast-paced, exciting sport that has inspired many songs. Some of the most popular ice hockey songs include "Good Ol' Hockey Game" by Stompin' Tom Connors, "The Hockey Song" by The Hockey Sock Rockers, and "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis. 

Game: An ice hockey game is played on a rink that is made of ice. The two teams each have six players on the ice at a time, and they use sticks to hit a puck into the other team's net. The team that scores the most goals wins the game. 

Rules: There are many rules in ice hockey, but some of the most important ones are that players cannot check each other from behind, they cannot touch the puck with their hands, and they cannot shoot the puck at the goalie above the shoulders. 

World Cup: The Ice Hockey World Cup is an international tournament that is held every four years. The most recent World Cup was held in 2019, and it was won by Finland.

UK: Ice hockey is not as popular in the UK as it is in some other countries, but there are still a few professional teams in the country. The most well-known British ice hockey team is the Sheffield Steelers.

NHL: The National Hockey League (NHL) is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. The NHL has 32 teams, 25 of which are in the United States and 7 of which are in Canada. 

Death: There have been several deaths in ice hockey, but they are extremely rare. Most deaths in ice hockey are caused by players colliding with each other or with the boards.

Teams: Here are some of the most famous ice hockey teams in the world:

  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • New York Rangers
  • Boston Bruins
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Colorado Avalanche



 

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