Olympic Cyclist Chloe Dygert Suffers Horrific Leg Injury During World Championships in Italy
The 23-year-old athlete was the favorite to win before she crashed into a guardrail
Cyclist Chloe Dygert was injured Thursday during the UCI Road World Championships' Elite Women's time trial event in Imola, Italy.
Dygert, 23, crashed into a guardrail during the race, which sent her flying head over heels, the Indy Star reported Thursday. The cyclist reportedly suffered a laceration to her hamstring and was airlifted to a hospital in Bologna, Italy, where she underwent surgery.
By Thursday evening, Dygert was out of surgery and "resting comfortably," a statement from USA Cycling said. The defending champion is expected to make a full recovery, the statement said.
"Chloe is a gifted athlete," her coach Kristin Armstrong said in a statement. "She’s had accidents in the past and returned stronger than ever. I have no doubt that this will be the case again."
Armstrong told Cycling News that Dygert will have a tough road to recovery.
"They were all concerned with a deep laceration to her leg, where she hit that guard rail, it’s horrifying and sickening, and it’s going to be a hard recovery for Chloe," she told the outlet.
"But I always have to look at the good news, and that is that Chloe is in good hands, people are taking care of her and she has a good team around her," her coach continued. "I spoke with her father, and hopefully he can get over there, but it’s tough with COVID. She has a huge team behind her and a lot of well wishes."
"This is definitely a serious accident but she will look back on it, and hopefully, be able to say that she was lucky in a lot of ways," Armstrong said, adding that the crash "could have been more serious."
The Olympic silver medalist was the favorite to win the race before the crash, which took her out of the race completely. Cycling News reported that she was the fastest to reach the 14.9km intermediate checkpoint at 19:35 minutes.
Armstrong added to the outlet that Dygert's love of competition will help her come back from her injury.
"She loves competition and the thrill of winning is in her DNA, and that will help her heal," Armstrong told Cycling News. "She loves to win."
"The most important thing for Chloe is to trust the process when she’s coming back," the coach said. "We all have to have patience and trust the process. It won’t happen overnight and when we realize that, and have patience, there is no question that Chloe will come back stronger than ever."