Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Video Credit: Golders/@eloipalau24
The 21-year-old bike trial champion injured by a World War One bomb explosion has revealed he cannot close his right hand and has lost the ability to move two of his fingers.
Former junior bike trial champion Eloi Palau, 21, spoke to local media as he recovers in Viladrau in the autonomous community of Catalonia in north-eastern Spain from the injuries he sustained nearly two months ago.
The incident occurred at the Italian glacier Presena along the Dolomites trail located in northeastern Italian Alps at around 3,000 metres (9,842 feet) above sea level and the explosion was reportedly from a World War I (WWI) bomb which exploded after it was moved.
Palau and another friend reportedly moved it while the two were hiking in the area.
Eloi spoke about his injuries and the challenges he faces, saying: “Doctors do not know when I will be able to get on a bike again.
“I do not know if I will compete again or if I will need to adapt the handle to my fingers as I do not have mobility on two of them.”
The 21-year-old also said: “I cannot pick anything up or even close my hand.”
Palau is referring to two fingers in his right hand that were very badly injured, however, he also suffered heavy damage to his eyes and ears.
He said: “I have been operated on three times on my right eye which I still see blurry through and has oedema. I have had one operation on my left eye.
“As for my ears, they will heal on their own in about four or five months.”
Palau’s eyes were affected by metal shrapnel from the explosion, which also burst both of his eardrums.
Despite the tough injuries and setbacks Palau now faces, he has been seen on social media in videos and pictures with a positive attitude and dedicated in his gym sessions.
Palau was the junior world bike trial champion in 2016 and was at number six in international rankings.
The Presena glacier was a hot-bed for Italian shelling during the world conflict. Local media report that with global warming, bombs and corpses have been resurfacing as the snow in the area melts.
Mountain bike trial is a type of cycling in which the rider must pass through a series of obstacles without letting their feet touch the ground.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.