Kate Courtney knows the dangers of concussion only too well.
The mountain bike world champion has suffered a number of head injuries during her career, which have only hammered home the risks cyclists can face.
In a new unique project Courtney has teamed up with the US Olympic Committee and Stanford University to highlight the importance of understanding concussions.
Courtney said: “I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to share my personal experiences, with the hope of helping others.”
TeachAids, an education project for young people, is trying to inform more people about concussion by teaming up with Courtney and seventeen nation governing bodies, including USA Cycling.
In an eight-minute long video, Courtney takes the viewer inside the human brain to show how important it is to report a head injury immediately.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the video is also available as a virtual reality experience.
Dr Michael Stuart, the chief medical officer at USA Hockey, said: “It’s exciting to see leadership across our national governing bodies working together to embrace evidence-based education to make our sports safer.”
Courtney, 24, looks back at a crash she suffered during a World Cup round in France in 2016, when she fell and hit her head.
Luckily she quickly recognised the symptoms of concussion and was able to get the correct treatment.
But Courtney was only able to notice the dangers because of a concussion she suffered four years before, which went undiagnosed at the time.
Concussion is a temporary injury to the brain caused by a blow or a jolt and can last between a few days or weeks.
The signs of concussion usually appear within minutes or hours of a head injury and they include a headache that doesn’t go away, dizziness, feeling or being sick, memory loss, trouble with balance, unusual behaviour, or changes to your vision.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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