Connor Fields has watched video of French rider Sylvain Andre’s beforehand instrumentality connecting with his rear tire, causing him to autumn violently to the track.
He remembers nary of it.
The contiguous days aft the BMX clang astatine the Olympic Games qualifying are, astatine best, a blur. His archetypal representation is seeing friends sojourn him successful the hospital.
“It sounds crazy, but you ever benignant of cognize that there’s a accidental doing what we bash that this could yet happen,” Fields said Saturday. “I had capable radical astir maine to pass maine what was going on, truthful it’s not similar I was wholly caught disconnected guard, but it decidedly wasn’t preferable oregon enjoyable.”
Fields, who graduated from Green Valley High School and UNLV, was the favourite astatine the Tokyo Olympics, having go the archetypal American to triumph gold successful BMX 5 years earlier successful Rio de Janeiro.
He was good connected his mode to the last aft the 2 archetypal qualifying runs July 30 erstwhile Andre tried to get past him successful the 3rd and last heat.
“I don’t judge that the French rider had the volition to enactment maine connected the ground,” Fields said. “But helium decidedly made an assertive determination and benignant of took my enactment distant and didn’t truly permission maine overmuch enactment of anyplace to go.”
The aesculapian unit rushed to Fields, who laic motionless connected the track. They carried him by stretcher to an ambulance, wherever Fields was taken to St. Luke’s International Hospital successful Tokyo.
Fields suffered a encephalon hemorrhage and breached rib — the second helium didn’t recognize until being told due to the fact that it felt similar a sore rib helium was accustomed to experiencing — and remained hospitalized for astir 5 days. Then he was allowed to alert home.
Momma I made it! https://t.co/d2wHLCfV2E
— Connor Fields (@connorfields11) August 5, 2021
He has been injured successful different races and notably suffered a concussion successful 2018 that took immoderate clip to heal, but thing to this extent.
Fields is backmost location successful his Las Vegas-area home, and his representation is improving some. He volition thrust to Salt Lake City connected Sunday to spell done therapy astatine the University of Utah, which works successful conjunction with USA Cycling. How agelong helium stays and what benignant of regimen helium volition travel volition beryllium discussed erstwhile Fields arrives.
“The biggest happening present is improving my representation and my slumber docket and getting backmost successful a mean intelligence regular implicit the adjacent mates of months,” Fields said.
As for the aboriginal beyond that, Fields, who turns 29 adjacent month, isn’t acceptable to deliberation that acold ahead.
It could impact cycling, either arsenic a rival oregon successful immoderate different fashion. Fields said helium would similar to stay “in high-level sports successful immoderate capacity,” but knows making that determination isn’t the highest precedence astatine this point.
“The archetypal measurement volition beryllium to heal up and beryllium arsenic mean arsenic imaginable and unrecorded a mean lifestyle,” Fields said. “Then astatine that constituent successful time, I tin marque a determination with the radical astir maine if this is thing I would similar to proceed to bash oregon if I’ve had enough.”
The fig of comments I’m getting saying “Paris is successful 3 years!”
Do radical recognize I astir died? Brain hemmorage? No memory…. Maybe I’m not acceptable to perpetrate to that yet? Can we chill for conscionable a sec? Maybe absorption connected luncheon adjacent week first….
— Connor Fields (@connorfields11) August 7, 2021
Whatever factors successful his decision, Fields said immoderate interest astir ending his vocation with that clang would not beryllium among them.
“I don’t deliberation it’s a bully thought to unit yourself to extremity lone connected a bully note, particularly if you’re astatine the Olympics, World Championships, large events similar that,” Fields said. “For me, I did my best, and I was prepared arsenic I ever am, and I had a small spot of atrocious luck. There’s thing I could’ve done to halt the French rider from bumping into me.”
If Fields steps away, helium does truthful with a resume that includes 3 appearances successful the Olympics and 9 successful the World Championships. In summation to golden astatine Rio, helium was seventh successful the 2012 Olympics successful London and victor of the 2012 and 2013 World Championships.
“I was a kid that loved to thrust his motorcycle and liked a unsocial athletics from Las Vegas from the clip I was 8 years old,” Fields said. “Was capable to crook it into a vocation and question the satellite and correspond my state arsenic good arsenic immoderate astonishing sponsors. I person a batch to beryllium arrogant of, a batch that we’ve accomplished and a batch to bent my chapeau on.”