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Healing at Home

Brownsburg’s Chloé Dygert opens up about her world championship crash that injured her leg and her determination to recover: ‘All I can do now is move forward’

By Lindsay Doty

American cyclist Chloé Dygert is back in her hometown of Brownsburg recovering from surgery on her left leg after a bloody crash at the road cycling world championships in Italy last month. The 23-year-old cycling champion lost control of her bike on a curve and collided with the roadside barricade, flipping over into a grassy area. She remembers the wreck vividly.

“I remember the moments after I stopped rolling down the hill,” she said. “I looked up to see how far away I was from the road and my bike, and I knew I couldn’t get back up in time and still win. I tried getting up to go find my bike, but I couldn’t move. All I could do was scream.”

She knew something was wrong when she saw her coach Jim Miller, USA Cycling chief of sports performance, hovering over her.

“I asked him if I was done and he said yes. I asked if my career was done and he didn’t say anything. I knew it was bad. Then I looked down and saw my leg. I’ve never felt such pain in my life,” said Dygert.

Dygert was tended to by emergency crews before being taken on a stretcher to a hospital nearby. She underwent surgery in Italy and says her quad had been partially cut with minor tendon damage.

Just hours after her surgery, the determined athlete tweeted: “I’ll be back.”

She has shared her recovery moments on social media, from a photo alongside her surgical team in Italy to a pic of her reuniting with her cat (perched on her shoulder) while standing with crutches.

Dygert has returned to Brownsburg where her parents live for her recovery and says her leg still “looks a little scary” but is doing alright. She says she will be getting her stitches out soon.

Healing will take time, but she’s happy to be doing it with her hometown surroundings. She has received an outpouring of support from the community.

“I honestly could not be in a better place right now, I love my family and friends who have been there during this time,” she said.

Dygert, who last year won by the largest margin in history as the youngest-ever champion, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics when she won last years’ world time trial title. No stranger to injuries on the track, the athlete is laser-focused on getting back on the bike.

“This is obviously a very big setback, but just like any other event or race, I don’t look at it any different than any other injury or setback I’ve had before,” she said. “It happened. I don’t have pity parties for myself. I don’t feel bad for myself.  I’m not complaining about it. It doesn’t change anything. All I can do now is move forward and do everything I can to get ready for the Olympics.”

Photo by Getty Images provided by Chloe Dygert

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