The Skisporet Podcast: Elisabeth Hartz Braathen

“I was lying there and couldn't feel my legs. It was a horrible feeling.

Elisabeth was only 17 years old when, in March 2021, she suddenly woke up one morning and couldn't feel or touch her body as normal. The biathlete, who was a student at NTG in Geilo, could no longer walk, do sports or any of the things she loved.

Listen to her moving story in the Skisporet podcast.

Woke up paralyzed

“I was lying in bed and couldn't move my legs. There was no feeling. I called Mum and she realized right away that something had happened just by hearing my voice," says Braathen in the podcast.


Podcast: Elisabeth Hartz Braathen is a guest on the Skisporet podcast.

Elisabeth had become paralyzed, but the doctors couldn't understand why. It was on her way home that the 17-year-old first realised that her life had been turned upside down. It happened on the way home from the hospital. "Everything raged and it was completely dark. I cried and everything was just awful," she says.

Watch and listen to Elisabeth’s story on YouTube.

First ski session on a sled

The energetic teenager quickly found out that she couldn't bury herself in the situation. After just a few weeks, she was on her first ski session on a sled. “It was Easter and I wanted to ski. I borrowed a sled. It was heavy, but I’m getting my speed up now.


Sports: Elisabeth is now focusing on sled skiing. She doesn't know anyone else in Norway who is doing this. Photo credit: Patrick Dougherty/Brav

Sport would be what kept her spirits up during a difficult time. Elisabeth is now fully committed to sledding and uses training as part of her treatment. “If I have a bad day, I long for a little extra training I use my body and my mind relaxes. That helps!"

Listen to Elisabeth's moving story in the Skisporet podcast.