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Cross-country skiing day for prosthetic users -
Mastering with skis on your feet
Your "cross-country skiing career" certainly doesn't have to be over even if you wear a prosthesis. 
Text: Bjørnhild Fjeld - Photo: Tore Fjeld

The surroundings couldn't have been better: Bright sunshine and perfect snow conditions made it a dream day for the participants.

- "I thought it would be nice to see other amputees skiing," says Badra Abdirahman (11), who has come from Fredrikstad to participate in the OCH Ortopedi cross-country skiing day at Skullerud in Oslo.

OCH Ortopedi's slogan is "We move people", and in a country with winter and snow half the year, it means a lot to be able to move even with skis on your feet.

Thrived best on the slopes

Badra has been an amputee since she was 11 months old and has become very good at controlling the prosthesis on her right leg. When she puts her ski pants on, no one can see that she has a prosthesis from the thigh down.

- I have skied a few times before, with the school, says Badra, who used to live in Namsos. There were better conditions for skiing there than there usually are in Fredrikstad.

- My little brother is 7 years old, he can also ski. But my two-year-old sister, she can't," says the tough 11-year-old who was not the least bit sceptical about trying her skis on the slopes.

Again and again she went up to set downhill, and almost every single time she managed to stand down the whole hill. All the time with a big smile on her face, because this was FUN!

Braking is challenging

The other participants also enjoyed the nice weather at Skullerud ski stadium, where they got to try out different exercises under the direction of Mari Backe, physiotherapist in OCH Ortopedi's department in Lillehammer.

- I used to ski a lot before my amputation in 2015. Since then I have also walked a bit. The biggest difference is really when I have to brake on downhill slopes, which can be a bit challenging with a prosthesis, says Hallgeir Brenden, who found it useful to get some more tips on how to improve his skiing.

He has his own cross-country prosthesis that he uses to prevent his prosthetic foot from twisting so easily at speed.

- "It is a great advantage to have your own cross-country skiing prosthesis instead of using a regular prosthesis," says Hallgeir, who has the same name as the famous skier from Trysil.

Terje Østlie spends much of his free time playing golf and working on a golf course, but would also like to learn how to improve his cross-country skiing.

- "It's very nice to be able to ski in such a facility, where it's quite flat and there's plenty of space to practice," he says.

The exercises on the cross-country skiing day included turning technique, staking and diagonal walking without poles - and everyone was tired after a two-hour first session. But after lunch, everyone was ready again for new challenges with skis on their feet. And there were only smiling faces to be seen!



Do you want to try too?

OCH Orthopaedics organises several sports and activity days every year - with different themes such as running, cross-country skiing and downhill skiing. Want to give it a try? Contact us for more information.