Fundraiser established for Irish champion Cotter raises almost €20,000 in less than two days

Imogen Cotter and Alina Jäger
Imogen Cotter and Alina Jäger (Image credit: Instagram / Imogen Cotter)

A fundraiser to help cover costs after Imogen Cotter suffered serious injuries from being hit by the driver of a car Wednesday has had a staggering response, amassing almost €20,000 in less than two days. 

The Gofundme was started by Cotter’s Girona housemate Alina Jäger, who began living with the Irish road race champion earlier this month when the latter moved to Girona.

Cotter has been honing her form in the Catalan city in advance of the 2022 racing season, which she will race with the UCI-registered Plantur Pura squad. However, the 28-year-old suffered fractures when she was hit by the driver of a speeding car and underwent an operation later that evening.

She said that the motorist was overtaking a cyclist on the other side of the road and hit her head-on. A photo of her bike released by her showed it smashed into several pieces, an image which communicates the seriousness of the accident.

Jäger listed the injuries on the Gofundme page, writing that “it's going to be a long road to recovery for her as she has the following injuries: a shattered patella that had to be replaced with a metal plate, a broken arm, various injuries that affect her wrist.” At the time of writing the fundraiser had amassed €16, 346, a jump of almost €10,000 since Thursday evening.

Aside from the generosity of the public, the momentum shown is also due in part to the considerable social media reach of both Jäger and Cotter, who have 157 thousand and 94.7 thousand followers respectively on Instagram.

Cotter expressed gratitude via her account, saying on Friday morning that things had been difficult but that she was grateful for the support she has received.

“I’ve had a pretty tough day so far, and it is only 11.30,” she stated. “I had the police in and had to give my statement. I’ve had the dressing taken off my leg. I’ve had to just try to move around a lot. It has just been really difficult.

“Everything feels so restricted and I can’t even imagine hopping up out of bed every again. But I just wanted to come on quickly to say thank you so much for the…I’ve just been show the GoFundMe by Alina. I really can’t believe it, and the peace of mind that it gives me.”

Imogen Cotter's bike after she was hit head-on by the driver of a car while training

Imogen Cotter's bike after she was hit head-on by the driver of a car while training in Spain (Image credit: Instagram / Imogen Cotter)

Jäger has rented a wheelchair for Cotter, a requirement from the hospital for her to be released this morning. The Clarewoman is unable to use crutches as she has a broken forearm.

The latter may yet be facing a further operation. “I will go back into hospital on Monday to get a plate put into my arm, if I need it,” she explained. “They are trying to decide on whether I will need it or not. It has just been a really emotional day, getting the statement done and everything. I am just looking forward to my parents getting here.”

In terms of her career, it is not yet clear how long it will take her to recover and return to training and racing. Cotter signed for the Plantur-Pura squad last autumn, securing the contract in the weeks after her national road race championship triumph. Her debut with that team will be delayed due to her injuries, and her participation in next month’s UCI Cycling Esports World Championships appears in serious doubt.

On Monday she had been named part of Cycling Ireland’s five-rider line-up for the online event, which will take place on February 26.

The Gofundme to support Cotter can be found here

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