Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper
''I could have died," says paralysed Olympic champion Vogel
"I know I will never walk again," said cyclist Kristina Vogel on Wednesday at her first public appearance since an accident in June that left her paralysed.
"Maybe I'll win my 12th gold medal elsewhere," added Vogel, who has won 11 world titles as well as two Olympic golds.
"What do I have to feel sorry about?" the 27-year-old asked. "The situation is what it is, I will obviously find other goals."
Late last week she announced, in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, that she was now paraplegic, after colliding at full speed with another cyclist training on the concrete track of the Cottbus velodrome.
"Falling is part of cycling," she said on Wednesday, sitting in a wheelchair. "I could have been dead, I was damn lucky."
Her spinal cord was severed at the seventh vertebra, and she has lost all feeling in the legs. On Wednesday she called a press conference at the Berlin clinic where she was treated. She cannot cycle, or even run.
"That's a fact," she said.
"I'm not a machine, there were times when I had to learn to let out the tears and I've never cried much," she said. "It's a stark break in life, a turn of 180 degrees. But I'm here, on two wheels or on four wheels.