Daniel Richardsson, Olympic gold medalist for Sweden in the 2010 4×10 k relay, was injured in a car crash in central Sweden on Sunday and taken by ambulance to Hudiksvall Hospital. According to Swedish daily Aftenbladet, Richardsson had stopped to help a friend change a flat tire on the side of a highway when a motor home approached the two men at high speed and, unable to avoid collision, ran into both of them, killing the friend and damaging a ligament Richardsson’s knee.
In a press release from the Swedish Ski Association, team doctor Per Andersson said the extent of Richardsson’s injury was not serious.
“The physical status is that Daniel sustained ligament damage in the knee where the forecast for the future function is not of a serious nature,” said Andersson, who has been in contact with Richardsson’s doctors at the hospital. “We need to do further studies to address in detail whether to continue treatment prognosis.”
According to Aftenbladet, Richardsson and his family were on their way to Iggesund, a town on the east coast of central Sweden. Richardsson was reportedly close friends with the deceased.
“Daniel is very depressed,” said Jan Eric Rickardsson, Daniel’s father, who was present for the accident. “He has lost a close friend. It is awful.”
National team coach Richard Griffin commented, “The most important thing now is that Daniel is healthy. Right now sport a secondary importance. I would once again appeal for calm surrounding Daniel and his family.”
Swedish Ski Association CEO Johan length Sares added his condolences, saying, “We think of Daniel and his family and will support them as much as possible in the sad situation they are in.”
Richardsson’s teammates also expressed their support of the World Cup skier. “It is incredibly unfortunate and all thoughts go first and foremost to the whole family,” said Emil Jönsson to Aftenbladet. “An incredible tragedy that no one really wants to believe is true.
“Daniel is an important person in the team, both as a friend and [as] skiers. Now I hope he gets peace and quiet to recover from it all. I hope he knows that we all give our full support on his way back.”