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Emergency heart operation on Normann Stadler

Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Wed Jul 13 2011

Double Ironman World Champion Normann Stadler underwent heart surgery at the Heidelberg University Hospital on July 4th to repair a failing heart valve and a nearby aortic aneurysm. His surgeon Prof. Matthias Karck said that the surgery went well and that Stadler is on his way to recovery.

It has not been announced yet what this will mean for the athletic career of the fast man from Germany, but it would appear that a health issue like along those lines would prevent Stadler from continuing the sport of triathlon at a professional level.

38-year old Stadler won the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2004 and 2006, and has had plenty of other success all over the world. He is however best known for his wins in Kona which he won both times with a very impressive bike split, in the process dispelling the myth that the race could not be won on the bike. The last few years he was the leader of the very successful German based Commerzbank Triathlon Team. The main sponsor Commerzbank just recently announced that they would not continue the sponsorship of the triathlon team past 2011.

We will keep you posted on this situation and meanwhile wish Stadler a speedy recovery. Updates will be published as they become available.


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Return after aneurysm surgery. 4 out of 5 stars


Reviewed by: T. Hobbes, Jul 21 2011 6:18AM

From the description, this sounds like aortic root aneurysm surgery. I underwent AAA surgery in Jan. '01. Completed a half marathon just 18 weeks later....not fast or pretty but completed. Whether Norman can comeback and compete at the elite level remains to be seen...but he will be able to return at a fairly high level nonetheless.

Normann will return 5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by: Nicole Carey, Jul 14 2011 5:47AM

Normann will return if he desires. My husband had similar surgery and thought he would never be the same. He ran the NYC Marathon on the one-year anniversary of his surgery and subsequently wrote a book called "Barefoot in November" about the whole experience of having the aortic aneurysm at such a young healthy age, and then coming back strong to run the marathon. He also started a blog called for those looking for strength to carry on with their lives after heart surgery and not just sit around and sulk about it. I highly recommend the book and a visit to the heartosaurus website. Ronnie Turiaf is a NY Knicks player who also had the same open heart surgery and was back on the court in no time. It is not the end unless Normann wants it to be.