Olympic champion cyclist Kristina Vogel of Germany has been left paralyzed after a training crash in June.
Olympic champion cyclist Kristina Vogel of Germany has been left paralyzed after a training crash in June. The crash severed her spinal cord and left Vogel without use of her legs, she told German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday.
The 11-time world champion collided with another cyclist at 38 mph at the Cottbus Sport Centre Velodrome while training for the German Grand Prix. The crash occurred on a concrete track.
“It is s--t, there’s no other way to put it. No matter how you package it, I can’t walk anymore,” Vogel told Der Spiegel. “But I believe that the sooner you accept a new situation, the sooner you learn to deal with it.”
Vogel, 27, had not spoken publicly on her condition since undergoing surgery in June.
“I didn’t want people to see me that injured,” she said. “Now I can say I have reached a point where I can say: here I am and I am fine. I am still the same crazy person. I want to be a source of motivation for others.”
The cyclist suffered another severe accident earlier in her career. A collision in May 2009 knocked Vogel off her bicycle and resulted in serious injuries that left her in an artificial coma for two days. She was able to resume racing after recovering.
Vogel won Olympic gold in the track team sprint at London 2012 and became the first German to win Olympic gold in the individual sprint at Rio de Janeiro four years later.