Silver Medal Winning Paralympic Cyclist May Compete In Actual Olympics

You may ask: "How's that even possible?" She is no longer paralyzed anymore—that's how! "How's that even possible?" I have no idea. The whole thing sounds pretty crazy to me, but the Dutch cyclist was apparently un-paralyzed after getting into an accident while training for the London 2012 Paralympics.

Monique van der Vorst, 27, was paralysed from the waist down and had been confined to a wheelchair for 13 years. Powering a bike with her hands, she had represented the Netherlands at the Paralympic Games and won two silver medals. But last year, after being knocked off her bike, her feet started to tingle, and within months, she was able to walk again. She now competes on a standard bicycle and was this week given one of just 11 places on a top women's professional cycling team. Her dream is to ride in the 2016 Olympics.

From the minimal background information in the article, it seems that Monique has had some pretty rotten luck up until a year ago. When she was 13, one leg was left paralyzed from the hip down as a result of nerve damage from what should have been a routine ankle operation. Then, in 2008, she was hit by a car and left completely paralyzed from the waist down. So, as they say, she was due.

While training for the 2012 London Paralympics, she was involved in another accident when she crashed with a fellow cyclist. Following the crash, her body began to spasm and she soon began to feel tingling in one foot, then another. By the end of the year, she was walking—and talking about the Olympics. Now, it is unclear what her chances actually are of making the team, but "[s]he now competes on a standard bicycle and was this week given one of just 11 places on a top women's professional cycling team."

Those associated with the team are all saying the right things and not harshing her out too much, including team spokesman, the apparently impossible to impress Luuc Eisenga. Said Eisenga of Monique's story "It seems like a miracle." What about her chances at a spot on the team? "In sport, everything is possible."

No kidding, Luuc. No kidding.


Paralysed cyclist is 'cured' by bike crash and now she hopes to take part in the Olympics
[Daily Mail]