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BLOCKING OUT THE AGONY
DAVID EPSTEIN
August 08, 2011
At the 2010 Vancouver Games, Slovenia's Petra Majdič showed that the brain can overcome the most excruciating pain
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August 08, 2011

Blocking Out The Agony

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At the 2010 Vancouver Games, Slovenia's Petra Majdič showed that the brain can overcome the most excruciating pain

BADGE OF COURAGE

After winning her country's first medal in cross-country skiing, Majdič had to be carried off the course. She was unable to compete in her other events or even, for days, to walk.

1 BROKEN BONES

Unbeknownst to Majdič, her coach and her sports psychologist, she had cracked five of her ribs in her fall, one of which punctured a lung and caused it to collapse.

2 MIND OVER MISERY

Having been told that she did not have any fractures and that the pain was in her head, Majdič willed herself to withstand the physical torment and keep competing.

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