World and Olympic track champion Kristina Vogel has revealed she has been left paralysed after a training crash in June.
The 27 year-old German rider suffered severe injuries in the incident at the Cottbus track on June 26 and spent more than a month in intensive care at a Berlin hospital. She suffered further complications in hospital, including pneumonia, and was placed in an induced coma on more than one occasion.
Since being released from hospital little news about Vogel's condition has been revealed, however, she revealed the consequences of the 60kph crash in an interview with German magazine, Der Spiegel (opens in new tab).
"It's sh*t, you cannot say otherwise. No matter how you package it, I cannot walk anymore," she says.
"But what should I do? I think the sooner you accept a new situation, the better you can handle it."
The incident on the concrete Cottbus track in the far east of Germany happened after Vogel collided with another rider. Leaving her spinal cord severed at the seventh thoracic vertebrae, Vogel was in no doubt how serious the incident was.
"It was clear to me right away, that's it. Now I'm a paraplegic with no running anymore. I was in pain, but there are no words."
Originally from Kyrgyzstan, Vogel is one of the world's most successful sprinters, winning Olympic gold in the team sprint at the London Olympics and the individual sprint four years later in Rio.
As well as Olympic accolades she took 11 rainbow jerseys, the last of which were this year in Apeldoorn where she won individual and team titles.
Her achievements are all the more notable as they came after another serious accident in 2009, when she was hit by a car while training, spending two days in a coma and off the bike for four months.
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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
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