Former Olympian wins silver medal in cycling at Tokyo Paralympic Games

  • Kate O’Brien of Team Canada won silver in cycling at the Paralympic Games.
  • O’Brien, 33, made his Paralympic debut this summer after previously competing in the 2016 Olympics.
  • ESPN reported that O’Brien survived a life-threatening bicycle accident in 2017.

Kate O’Brien of Team Canada won a silver medal in cycling at the Tokyo Paralympic Games just four years after surviving a life-threatening bicycle accident.

According to the Olympics website, O’Brien arrived at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka to compete in the women’s C4-5 500-meter time trial. The event was the paracyclist’s first at the Paralympic Games.

ESPN reported that O’Brien, 33, competed in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but then suffered a serious accident during a cycling demonstration on an outdoor track in 2017. O’Brien had a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken collarbone. and doctors reportedly even told her that she would never be able to walk or cycle again.

Photo of Team Canada silver medalist Kate O'Brien, Team Great Britain gold medalist Kadeena Cox and Team Netherlands bronze medalist Caroline Groot on the podium.

Kate O’Brien won a medal alongside Kadeena Cox of Great Britain and Caroline Groot of the Netherlands.

Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images

She then underwent rehabilitation, but suffered seizures while recovering, ESPN reported. But the outlet reported that O’Brien was determined to continue the sport and worked with physiotherapists to recover his movement.

O’Brien told CBC in 2020 that his physiotherapists “set her bike up on rollers, pushed her towards a wall, and formed a human semicircle in case she fell.”

O’Brien finished her run in 35.439 seconds after Team Great Britain’s Kadeena Cox scored gold in Friday’s competition. Caroline Groot of Team Netherlands came in third place for the bronze title.

Kate O'Brien photographed modifying her bike in 2015.

Kate O’Brien was involved in a serious bicycle accident in 2017, resulting in multiple injuries including broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Carlos Osorio / Getty Images

“I never imagined I could compete in the Paralympic Games,” O’Brien wrote in an Instagram caption. “I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they told me I would. I don’t do well with change. But, after 33 years on this planet, I realize that change is inevitable and often unbelievable. ”

Despite being O’Brien’s first Paralympic medal, the athlete made history in January 2020 when she represented Team Canada at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships. She won two titles and broke two world records, ESPN reported.

“It was the first time in a long time that I felt really happy playing sports, not because of the material won, but because of the people and the experience,” O’Brien wrote in an Instagram post after. the competition. “I didn’t realize that the path isn’t always what you think it will be, but you can still get there, and the path can be even better than you think.”

A post shared by Kate O’Brien (@emptykate)


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