Latvian wildman flies after appendix hell

Driving a bobsleigh through Whistler's gut-wrenching turns at 90mph was probably not the advice Janis Minins was given by his surgeon after having his appendix removed on the day the Olympic Games opened.


But that is exactly what the Latvian speed-junkie, who recently crashed his father's Harley Davidson into a cemetery, was doing on Tuesday as official training began for the four-man competition which starts on Friday.

Then again, the 29-year-old Minins reckons nothing Whistler can throw at him will be as bad as the hell he experienced after undergoing emergency surgery for an appendicitis sustained during a training run in Vancouver.

"After surgery I had two days in hell," Minins, who holds the track record at Whistler and is a real medal prospect, said.

"My muscles were paralysed, I couldn't breathe, I was hyper-ventilating. That was one terrible day.

"The second day I had hiccups. Each time when I drunk something, I was like hiccup, hiccup, hiccup. Can you imagine the pain if I do hiccups two days after surgery?

"That was two days in hell. Now, I don't care about bobsleigh crashes."

Minins, who is a firefighter by profession, reluctantly missed the two-man competition but as the world's second-ranked four-man pilot there was no way he would miss out again.

Asked if he was a little crazy he shrugged, but his description of the Harley wreck rather gave the game away.

"Just after last season, I was having fun one day and I had a big accident on bike, on a Harley Davidson, road king," he said.

"It was my father's. I was driving too fast and I went into one corner and forget I was driving Harley, not road bike.

"I was trying to lean into a 90 degree corner but the engine touched the tarmac and I went straight and flew into cemetery."

It was nothing, though, according to Minins.

"I woke up, brushed myself off," he said. "It was not fast, only 80kmh, it was normal."

With that he wandered off to eat a large steak.

"I lost eight kilos when I was in hospital," he said. "But that means the other guys can eat more so that's good."

Follow the Winter Olympics 24/7 on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and EurosportHD (Sky 412) British Eurosport channels are streamed online via the Eurosport Player.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so that everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Win cash in one day fantasy football contests. Join now!

    Learn how to play

    Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
    Premier League £1,500 Saturday 22/335 £5 £1500 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter
    Premier League £600 Saturday 1/26 £25 £600 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter
    Premier League £300 Saturday 36/340 £1 £300 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter