Cyclist Williamson has learned to walk again after an accident
Three years ago, it was feared that British cyclist Victoria Williamson would never walk again after having broken her neck, back and pelvis in a horror accident.
Williamson was racing at the Rotterdam Six Day 2016, but she does not remember anything. final omnium, where she collided – dramatically – with Elis Ligtlee, the house's favorite.
Despite numerous fractures and dislocations, her skin being "torn" and suffering from a cut so deep that she was exposing her spine, the cyclist challenged the expectations of medical experts.
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old will complete a remarkable comeback by competing for Great Britain at the World Track Cycling Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.
"If you look at my hospital release sheet, I should not even be here," she told BBC Sport.
"I'm proud of myself, but I'm more grateful for all the support from everyone who has helped me come back here."
After the accident – I wanted a picture!
Accidents are not uncommon in track cycling, where motorcycles can move at a speed of up to 50 km / h, but the scale of the collision was such that Ligtee also lost consciousness that the race was abandoned and that the spectators were invited to leave.
Paralysis was a real problem for the doctors who treated Williamson at the scene.
However, Williamson, who was unconscious and unconscious and was "taking fentanyl," a drug about 100 times more potent than morphine, had two very different concerns.
She says, "The first thing I asked was," Did I win? "And then it was:" Can you take a picture to joke? "
"I was out of there, I did not really know the diagnosis and I just thought it was hilarious at that time."
Rehabilitation – mental and physical
The doctors told Williamson that she would spend at least eight weeks in the hospital after the accident, but that she came out after four
Williamson insists that his return to cycling was "always" in his thoughts throughout his grueling rehabilitation, but at first he had difficulty performing even the most basic tasks.
"I was told that I might not be able to walk, so it would be a fight to walk without a stick and then there was a doubt that I would roll again," recalls she.
"It was not just the physical pain that was hard, it was also the mind to take away things you took for granted, like going to the bathroom and being able to wash yourself.
"I had to stay flat for more than three weeks, and by the time I lost consciousness, I fainted, at which point I knew I was not in the right direction."
After four weeks in the hospital, Williamson returned to the UK and spent a record nine months of intensive rehabilitation at the world-renowned Bisham Abbey Sports Center.
She had to undergo a new surgery to remove the screws from her pelvis in September 2017, but resumed her light cycle later in the year.
"I do not remember anything about the accident, which is a blessing in disguise, it means that I have not had any psychological problems on the track," said Williamson.
Vogel's injury reminds me that I'm lucky
Last June, German Olympic champion Kristina Vogel, Williamson's friend, was paralyzed in a workout accident.
The news, unsurprisingly, struck Williamson loudly.
"It made me understand how lucky I was," she adds. "One of my wounds was two millimeters from my spine, so it could have been a lot worse – all movement was gone."
"Kristina sent me a message a few times when I was in the hospital and said," Oh, you made extraordinary efforts "on my return, but I am more impressed by her.
"She was one of the icons of the women's sprint, but she's amazing how to handle a life-changing injury and she'll always be a role model for everyone."
World and Olympic goals
Williamson now raises heavier weights at the gym than she did before her accident
Williamson said that she was a little "short" and that she thought she could still improve her speed, but she is now lifting heavier weights at the gym before her fall.
In January, she made him international return at the Hong Kong World Cup and a second place in the women's team sprint at the National Track Cycling Championships a few days later assured him a place at the Worlds.
In Poland, she will participate in the women's sprint – a test in which she has ensured single bronze medal at the 2013 world championships – as well as the individual time trial on 500m.
"Regarding the expectations, I have no idea in mind, I just want to achieve a good performance.If I can get a personal best and deliver the best possible, it's another step for Tokyo ", she says.
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Tokyo 2020 – the next Olympics – is its long-term goal.
These Games added importance to the women's sprint team in Great Britain as it was the only track cycling event they participated in. failed to qualify for Rio 2016.
"I was crushed just before qualifying for Rio, but we now have a very strong group of girls pushing each other and I'm confident we'll qualify." [for Tokyo]," she says.
"It is obviously a dream for me to compete for Great Britain at the Olympics and it would be perfect to complete this hard work.
"All that I realize now is already a victory."