The serious scare that changed Olympic legend

1 year ago 134

Australia's top way cyclist Anna Meares has admitted that if it wasn't for her life-threatening wounded successful 2008, she "wouldn't person had arsenic agelong a career".

Four-time Olympian Meares connected the play became 1 of the nations' newest members of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

The now-retired way cyclist holds a peculiar grounds arsenic the lone Australian to person won medals astatine 4 consecutive Olympic Games.

"There's astir apt nary honour of designation that comes overmuch higher and determination are 8 inductees this year... for me, it's bully to beryllium recognised successful that mode and person each those years of hard enactment and achievements noticed," Meares told Wide World of Sports.

Anna Meares poses soon aft being announced arsenic the Australian emblem bearer for the Opening ceremonial of the 2016 Games (Getty)

Meares won six Olympic medals successful her vocation - golden and bronze astatine Athens 2004, metallic astatine Beijing 2008, golden and bronze astatine London 2012 and bronze astatine Rio 2016.

She besides won 11 satellite title titles.

The 38-year-old, whose vocation spanned astir 16 years, credited overmuch of her longevity to the superior cervix wounded she suffered successful 2008, which was 7 months earlier the Beijing Olympics.

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During the Cycling World Cup successful Los Angeles, a collision successful beforehand of Meares led to the Australian clipping the backmost instrumentality of different competitor, causing a clang astatine 65 km/h. She dislocated her close shoulder, suffered tegument abrasions and tore ligaments and tendons, but that wasn't the worst of it.

Anna Meares celebrates winning the last and the golden medal successful the Women's Sprint Track Cycling Final astatine the London 2012 Olympic Games (Getty)

Meares fractured her CT vertebrae earlier scans revealed she was lone 2 millimetres from a cleanable break, which could've resulted successful quadriplegia oregon death.

"One of the things I'm arrogant of is the consistency I've had implicit a agelong play of clip successful my vocation - 16 years astatine the elite elder level," she said.

"To beryllium up determination each twelvemonth is simply a large accomplishment.

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"My rivals and competitors perpetually changed and their strengths and weaknesses perpetually changed... I had to constantly, not conscionable physically beryllium connected apical of my game, but mentally, emotionally, tactically and technically.

"I understood and recognised aboriginal aft my mishap successful 2008 - my gratitude changed, my outlook changed, my cognition changed and I started to realise however uncommon an accidental to beryllium astatine the Olympic Games was. How uncommon it was to triumph and however uncommon it was to deterioration the greenish and gold.

Anna Meares of Australia celebrates her golden medal astatine the London 2012 Olympic Games (Getty)

"Honestly, if I didn't person my accident, I wouldn't person had arsenic agelong a career."

Asked what infinitesimal she cherished astir successful her career, Meares said the 2012 golden medal astatine the London Games had to beryllium "top of the tree."

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The 2012 Games was a peculiar 1 for Meares, who worked intimately with manager Gary West earlier helium mislaid his conflict with centrifugal neurone illness successful 2017.

"There were a fewer moments that were very, precise special," she said.

"The triumph successful London (2012) with Gary West successful the squad - each the enactment we did strategically down the scenes.

"But since Gary mislaid his conflict with MND, evidently that would person to beryllium astatine the apical of the tree.

"That was precise special."

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