- Mountain Bike
Young rider makes remarkable comeback from two spleen injuries to represent Canada at Olympic Games
(Abbotsford, BC – July 11, 2012) Tory Nyhaug is one resilient athlete. After rupturing his spleen for the second time in less than two years, earlier in May, the young BMX star from Coquitlam, BC has now officially been named to the Canadian Olympic Team.
For this young athlete, the road to London has been filled with challenges. Canada’s top BMX rider, currently ranked fifth in the World rankings, has consistently been in Supercross finals over the last two seasons, establishing himself as a threat and a serious contender for the Olympic Games in London.
Nyhaug was on a quick rise to the top of the BMX world standings last season. Nyhaug crashed in a practice session at the 2010 UCI World Championships, and his season suddenly came to an end as he lost control of his bike and hit the ground hard. The diagnosis was not pretty: he suffered from a ruptured spleen, and was forced to rest for months, surrounded by his family and friends at home.
Bed-ridden for three months in 2010, Nyhaug was determined to come back and show the world he was stronger than ever after the injury. Since his comeback from the first spleen injury, Nyhaug enjoyed significant success on the world scene, finishing ninth at the 2011 World Championships, and stepping twice on the Supercross podium, in the time trials.
This year, the two-time reigning Canadian Champion was enjoying a successful season when he crashed in the final race of the UCI Supercross event in Papendal, Netherlands, on May 13, the last Supercross before the World Championships. The news was devastating for Tory and his family: he once again injured his spleen, his second rupture, in less than two years, as well as suffering from a fractured wrist and light concussion.
Once again, Nyhaug showed true grit, and was determined to bounce back, and not let his Olympic dreams die without a fight. After spending over three weeks in a hospital in Holland, including 10 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Nyhaug was cleared to fly back to Canada. Upon his return, he and a team of medical experts from the Vancouver General Hospital opted to undergo a surgery and proceeded with the complete removal of the spleen, a non-vital organ.
“I could not have gone through an injury like this without my family, friends, girlfriend, and support team. This has been the hardest and most painful month of my life and I can only see a brighter future ahead,” said Tory Nyhaug, currently ranked fifth in the World rankings and now in performance mode for the Olympic Games.
Since the surgery, Nyhaug has enjoyed a quick healing process, and spent many hours on a stationary training bike as he attempts to regain the form he had prior to the crash that took him out of the World Championships for the second year in the last three.
Nyhaug, who is being provided training and preparation through a unique partnership between Cycling Canada and B2ten, has had a team of specialists looking after program. The rehab is being led by physiotherapist, Damien Moroney (Nelson, BC) and also comprises his personal technical coach Pierre-Henri Sauze (France), physiologist Paulo Saldanha (Montreal) and National team coach Adam Muys, all of whom are collaborating on a return to competition plan that could see Nyhaug regain top form, and if so, make a serious challenge at the Olympic Games.
“I am very motivated to get back to racing. BMX is a dangerous sport and we all know the risks going in, I know after going through something like this I can face serious challenges head on.. I love BMX racing and I can’t wait to represent Canada both in London and for years to come.”
His coaches, including National team coach Adam Muys, are thrilled to see Tory back in the saddle, and doing what he loves most, riding his bike. “Tory is a resilient, determined and brave athlete. He has been through some difficult and challenging situations in the last 12 months, and handled each challenge like a pro, with a clear vision to win. We are confident that Tory will show up on the start line in London with relentless focus and passion for the sport, and give his best.”
For High performance Director, Jacques Landry, he is impressed by the commitment and the strength shown by the young rider. “To suffer twice from such a serious injury, and then come back to represent his country at the international level is a testament of Tory’s grit, passion and love for the sport of BMX. He’s a respected rider among the BMX community, a hero for the rest of Canadian BMX riders and an inspiration for all of us in the Canadian sport community.”
Nyhaug is the last Canadian cyclist to be named to the Canadian Olympic Team, set to compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Canada has a record-breaking 16 cyclists racing at the various cycling disciplines at the Olympic Games.
The BMX event at the Olympic Games has been spread over three days, starting on August 8th with the qualification, and ending on August 10th with the finals.