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.