Report: Paralyzed cyclist walks again
A paralyzed cyclist who won two silver medals in the handcycling event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics has regained the use of her legs after a freak accident last year, according to a Sky News report.
Dutch cyclist Monique Van der Vorst, 27, lost the use of her legs as a teen after an operation on her ankle went horribly wrong. Van der Vorst was introduced to handcycling during her rehabilitation from the surgery.
Tragedy struck again in 2008 when Van der Vorst injured her spinal cord in a car accident that paralyzed her from the waist down.
Things appeared to take another bad turn when Van der Vorst crashed into a teammate during training in 2010. However this time the cyclist began to get the feeling back in her legs and slowly recovered her ability to walk.
"My development has been very quick. I never could have imagined one year ago I would be here," Van der Vorst told Sky News.
Now Van der Vorst has set her sights on the cycling road race at the 2016 Rio Olympics as part of the Rabobank team.
Rabobank team manager Jeroen Blijlevens said he believes Van der Vorst will motivate the other riders.
"She has the right mentality, willpower. She has proved that in her career in adapted sports," Blijlevens told Sky News. "She wants to race, and we are going to support her in that."