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Dutch cyclist released from hospital, scheduled to fly home Friday

Tanner Walters
Fourth-Place Medal
Dutch women’s cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was released from the hospital Tuesday. (Getty)

Injured cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten had more good news to post on her personal website Tuesday.

“Today I can leave the hospital and I will be taken to a hotel nearby,” she wrote. “Not to the Olympic Village, because I need rest and the idea is that I can recover the best in the hotel.”

The two-time Olympian wrote that her concussion is currently keeping her from traveling, but she intends to fly home to the Netherlands on Friday.

Her crash, which occurred in the final kilometers of her Sunday afternoon race, was not easy to watch. Leading the field, van Vleuten suddenly lost control of her bike at a steep turn and descent, flipping over her handlebars onto the curb. In addition to a concussion, she suffered three small fractures in her lumbar spine that sent her to intensive care.

In Tuesday’s blog post – written in both her native Dutch and English – van Vleuten noted her disappointment that the accident occurred at the height of her athletic career. She added that she is still proud of her performance.

“I was hoping to surprise everyone, but that I was actually able to attack [U.S. cyclist Mara] Abbott, I did not expect. On the Olympics I wanted to excel and that I did. Maybe I discovered a side of myself, which I didn’t even knew. That is a motivation for me to continue.”

After van Vleuten was released from intensive care following the crash, Dutch team doctor Cees Rein posted on the Dutch Cycling Federation website that the cyclist was recovering well.

“An MRI scan has shown that there is no further injury,” he wrote. “The most important thing is that absolute rest is necessary at this time.”

Earlier Tuesday, van Vleuten tweeted a photo of her face – bandaged but still smiling.

She concluded her website post with a thank you to everyone who has wished her messages of support as she continues her recovery.

The Aug. 7 crash is not the first accident van Vleuten has survived. Amazingly, another incident occurred on the same exact day one year earlier when she was hit by a car in Livigno, Italy. At the time, she was training for the end of her 2015 season before she suffered a broken collarbone and three broken ribs.

Even more surprising? Aug. 7 is her mother’s birthday. Thankfully, the Dutch cyclist will be reunited with her family by the end of the week, pending the status of her concussion.


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