Two-time Olympic track champion Kristina Vogel is paralysed from the chest down after a horror training crash earlier this year, according to German magazine Der Spiegel. Speaking publicly for the first time since the crash in June, Vogel said that she would not be able to walk again.
"It's shit, you cannot say otherwise. No matter how you pack it, I cannot walk anymore," she told Der Spiegel.
An 11-time world champion in a variety of sprint disciplines and the reigning individual sprint Olympic champion, Vogel was training on a concrete track in Cottbus with Pauline Grabosch. She reportedly began an acceleration when she collided with another rider at 60kph. She was immediately airlifted to hospital where she was placed in a medically induced coma, and it was later reported that her injuries were life-changing, though minimal information has been given since then.
She was operated on several times but, according to Vogel, there seems little chance of a full recovery. The accident severed her spinal cord at the seventh thoracic vertebra. Vogel has full control of her arms, hands and head but she has been left paralysed from the chest down. Vogel is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the crash but says she's learning to accept it.
"Then the line between feeling and numbness is a little bit, on the left side it is a bit lower than on the right side," explained Vogel. "But what should I do? I always think that the faster you accept a new situation, the better you can handle it."
Following the accident, Vogel's German teammate Max Levy set up a fundraiser with the aim of raising €50,000 for Vogel and her family. The fund raised just under €120,000 in the end and the money is set to go to her family.
Vogel is due to hold a press conference next Wednesday, her first public appearance since the crash.