HAYWARD, Wis. (AP/WCCO) — A founding member of the American Birkebeiner Nordic ski race in northern Wisconsin has died of injuries suffered in a bike accident.
Sixty-two-year-old David Landgraf of Bloomer died Monday afternoon at a hospital in Duluth, Minn. The retired Bloomer High School physical education teacher was biking on Highway 27 near Hayward last Friday when he was struck.
A Sawyer County sheriff’s report says the 24-year-old woman that hit Landgraf had turned to talk to her children and when she turned back, she saw the biker, swerved to avoid him, but struck him.
The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says Landgraf was one of only three people to ski every American Birkebeiner since its founding in 1973.
“He was an amazing person and part of the very fabric of the Birkie,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner, in a statement. “To see Dave in that lone, red Founder’s bib, coming across the finish line with men many years his junior, is just a testament to Dave’s spirit as a person and an athlete. He represented something very special to so many skiers.”
Landgraf also coached Nordic skiing for more than four decades and helped develop the Hickory Ridge Ski Trails near his home in Bloomer, Wis.
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