Kristina Vogel made an emotional return to the track on Monday, making an appearance in front of home crowds at the Berlin leg of the World Cup series, where she was awarded the accolade of ‘Cyclist of the Year’ by the German Federation.
Vogel, a two-time Olympic Gold medallist and 11-time World Champion on the track, is paralysed from the waist down after crashing heavily while training in June.
After making her condition public in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel in September, and then holding a press conference a week later, the 28-year-old entered the velodrome this weekend for the first time since the accident.
She emerged onto the track and completed a lap in her wheelchair, to what the German Federation described as a “thunderous ovation” from the 2000-strong crowd.
Vogel was also honoured as German Cyclist of the Year and was handed the award by German politician Heiko Maas.
“It was very moving,” Vogel said in an interview with L’Equipe in Berlin. “I don’t miss competition but on the other hand I do miss this community, these people. I’ve shared some very good and also very bad moments with them. They’re my cycling family.”
— ELIA VIVIANI (@eliaviviani) December 1, 2018
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