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"he's a brave kid."(3 posts)

"he's a brave kid."johan burnt eels
Feb 25, 2002 9:21 AM
Riders help junior

He might only be a beginner on a bike, in a small country town in Australia - and therefore small fry in the big pool of cyclists around the world - but Warragul junior rider Sam Atkinson would have to be one of the bravest - and keenest - bicycle enthusiasts around.

The nine year old member of the Warragul Cycling Club - who says he doesn't think much of track racing but loves the road - was riding with his father and sister on a BMX bike in forest near the family home on January 1 when a piece of bark became wedged in the spokes of his front wheel.

He couldn't turn the handlebars and crashed into a log, resulting in injuries so horrific that they would turn a lot of adults off the sport forever.

Young Sam, who was unconscious for half an hour after the accident, was airlifted to the Royal Children's Hospital in nearby Melbourne, where doctors diagnosed him as having:

* a perforated bowel;
* broken jaw in three places;
* loss of 11 teeth;
* lacerated liver;
* bruised kidneys; and a
* damaged spleen.

But this kid is resilient. Two operations and two weeks in hospital later, he was back home with a zipper-like scar stretching from hip bone to hip bone, a toothless grin on his face - asking his mum Karen for a new bike.

He's not even back at school full-time yet (he's only allowed to go for an hour a day at this early stage in his recovery) but already he has been on his old mountain bike and has picked out the road bike he would like to get.

"I like road racing the best but my sister Zoe and me only have old mountain bikes to do it on," he told as he watched one of his heroes, Olympian Brett Aitken, on the club's velodrome tonight.

Club members and members of the community have been so impressed with the youngster's enthusiasm that they have been raising money to buy him that new bicycle.

Money raised during an presentation held as a leadup to the club's annual track carnival-Victorian Madison Championships, will go towards the new bike fund.

Meanwhile, iteamNova's captain Dave McKenzie, who has been recovering from his own training crash and regretting the resulting inability to contest the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under and Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia, had one thing to say about Sam.

"He's a brave kid."
on 2nd thought, maybe I won't post about blister on heel nmmorrison
Feb 25, 2002 10:01 AM
I bet he was wearing a helmetDutchy
Feb 25, 2002 5:21 PM
Considering in Australia we have had compulsory helmet laws for 10 years now, I will bet he was wearing a helmet.
Looking at the poor little fellas injuries it probably saved him from even more serious injuries.
What a little Aussie legend!