|A statement from Javier Otxoa||bikedodger|
Oct 31, 2001 8:57 AM
|BILBAO, Spain, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Spanish cyclist Javier Otxoa, speaking in public for the first time since the tragic accident that killed his twin brother Ricardo and almost claimed his own life, thanked his Kelme team and well-wishers for their support on Tuesday.
``It seems unbelievable that the people still think of me,'' said Otxoa, who was in a coma for several weeks after he and his brother were hit by a car while training in Malaga in February.
The 27-year-old was applauded by the press as he appeared at a news conference in Bilbao, walking slowly to the platform with help from his brother Andoni.
``I feel better all the time,'' he said. ``It's a long, slow process but I'm prepared to give everything I have.''
Otxoa suffered serious head and chest injuries from the accident and was treated in hospitals in Malaga and Bilbao before being transferred to a recovery centre in Mondragon close to his family home in the Basque country.
``The worst thing is having to get up every morning to work for three hours. If it has to be done I'll do it, though.
``I do feel a bit of envy when I watch cycling on TV because I still can't ride.
``Let's see if in a year or 18 months I can ride a bit.''
|re: A statement from Javier Otxoa||LC|
Oct 31, 2001 9:48 AM
|This kind of news scares me more than any crash I see during a race. While I am sure there a big difference between a pro like Javier and myself during a race, there is very little difference between his training rides my 8,000+ miles of training rides each year. I doubt that his crash was from lack of bike handling skill. Your chances of something happening goes up with just all those miles of interacting with impatient automobile drivers no mater who you are.|| |