Dutch Cyclist Injures Spine In Ugly Crash During Olympic Race

Annemiek Van Vleuten was leading the race with about 6.7 miles left before the crash, which appeared to leave her motionless for some time.

While Olympic Games bring victory, joy and pride for some participants, for others, the tournament often ends in tears of grief and, in worse cases, incredible pain and injury.

After French gymnast Samir Ait’s dream of winning were cut short by a horrific leg break, Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten suffered a crash during the women’s road race — just when she was six miles away from the finish line and appeared on track to win.

The 33-year-old cyclist lost control on what appeared to be a wet, slippery downhill turn on the track on Sunday afternoon.

Her tragic accident was caught on video that shows her flipping off her bike, and her shoulder crashing on the pavement.

The Dutch cycling federation announced she had fractured her back in three places and suffered a concussion. She spent the night in intensive care at a local hospital:


The crash allowed Mara Abbott of the United States to move ahead, however, Van Vleuten's teammate Anna van der Breggen won gold for the Netherlands.

"I was pretty shocked, I think she crashed hard. I realized I was at the front of the team, so I had to chase. I did it for Annemiek. To see her like that, it's a big shock," van der Breggen told reporters after her win.

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