Former US Ski Team member and three-time Olympian, Justin Wadsworth was injured when he hit a tree while mountain biking on Saturday afternoon. He damaged ligaments on one vertebra and compressed another. He will have to wear a neck brace for three months, but feels lucky since the fracture was very close to the spinal column.
Justin’s accident happened on a dirt trail outside Bend, Oregon where Justin and his wife, 2002 Olympic Champion Beckie Scott live.
The speed when the accident happened was according to Justin only about eight miles per hour. He was going down a slight downhill and around a tree when his front wheel hit a rock and sent him head first into the tree. His helmet broke in two pieces, and he knew that he needed help. After awhile he was able to walk on his own to the nearest road 10 minutes away where a lady in a car called for an ambulance and he was put on a stretcher and in a neck brace. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the ER.
The MRI showed that the vertebra damage was very close to the spinal column. The recovery will include three months in a neck brace followed by rehabilitation training.