Paralysed bicycle racer gets in accident, regains use of her legs


Monique van der Vorst (27) from Gouda was offered a contract with the Rabobank women’s bicycle racing team two weeks ago. The news was remarkable because in 1998 Van der Vorst had lost the use of her legs at the age of 13.

She became a hand cyclist and won two silvers medals at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. Her athletic career seemed to be over in 2010 when she was hit during practice by another cyclist. But after three months in the hospital something happened, Velonation reports in a long interview:

One night, I was lying there frustrated because I could only move one hand. It was the middle of the night and I started to make a fist to train that hand; then suddenly I felt tingling in my feet. I could not imagine it was happening – it was crazy! We did all kinds of testing but there was no function yet.

Three months later I started to recover, my upper body started to work better. I trained really, really hard. And then suddenly I could move my leg a little bit to the side, and from then on I trained with everything I could get more function.

1 Comment »

  1. […] example of what perseverance can do. Paraplegia cost her the use of her legs at age 13 (or so we reported, and everybody else), but she fought hard and won medals at the 2008 Paralympics in cycling events. […]

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