• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Brokeback rider heads for Olympic bike sprints

The Local · 9 Jul 2012, 08:22

Published: 09 Jul 2012 08:22 GMT+02:00

Her Melbourne world championship triumph was the 21-year-old's first taste of glory on the world stage and she will be battling alongside Britain's Victoria Pendleton and Australia's Anna Meares for Olympic sprint gold medal in London.

It is all a far cry from April 20, 2009, when she collided with a minibus while riding her bike near her home in Erfurt. Without a cycling helmet, she would probably have been killed.

"A minibus took the right of way and I flew through the windscreen," Vogel, who was 18 at the time, told AFP.

"I am lucky I am not quadriplegic since I broke the fifth vertebrate in my neck on both sides.

"I also broke my cheekbone, bones in my hand, sustained a lot of deep cuts, especially in the face and lost six teeth in my lower jaw. I was in an artificial coma for two days, spent four weeks in hospital and was strapped to the bed for two and a half of them when I could only lie flat.

"It took three months of rehab and I was off my bike for four months in total.

"But it wasn't hard for me to get back in the saddle. I couldn't talk at the time, so I wrote on a piece of paper that my goal was to race at the world championships the following March.

"That was my motivation and challenge."

Back then, the plucky teenager fulfilled the promise to herself and finished fifth in the individual sprint at the 2010 World Championships in Copenhagen and along with partner Miriam Welte came sixth in the team sprint.

Vogel won the bronze in the keirin at the 2012 championships in Melbourne in April, but it was alongside Welte in the team sprint where the pair shone.

Having set a new world record in qualifying, they lowered their own mark in the final to claim gold in 32.549secs, beating home favourites Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares of Australia in the process.

"The title was a surprise for us," admitted Vogel.

"It has given us a lot of confidence, the world championships have shown Miriam and I that we are up there and it is a good base, especially remembering what it was like to stand on the podium."

Looking ahead to London, Vogel, a part-time police officer, said she expects the British cyclists to be very strong, especially motivated by their home crowd and an impressive haul of six gold medals from Melbourne.

"Next to the Chinese and Australians, the British are amongst the favourites for the medals," she said.

"We tend to be outsiders, so with a bit of luck we can hope to reach the small final (for the bronze medal).

"It will be a very difficult competition and it will come down to form on the day.

Story continues below…

"The hall will be shaking with the noise and I doubt we will be able to hear our own words.

"That will mean a lot of pressure for us, but I will use that shaking hall as motivation."

Vogel said Britain's world sprint champion Victoria Pendleton and Australia's Meares, the world 500m time-trial champion, are names to watch for.

"Those to watch out for and the ones to count on are Pendleton, Meares, China's Shuang Guo and Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite," said Vogel.

"Although I think the sprint gold medal will be played out between Meares and Pendleton."

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:00 July 9, 2012 by Excellentleathershop
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:31 July 9, 2012 by Tangential
I don't think that word means what you think it means...

From urbandictionary:

Brokeback: (adj.) Used to describe anything of questionable masculinity.
16:15 July 10, 2012 by reallybigdog
Its just a cheap shot by the local in bad taste as usual. Its britiot humor!
Today's headlines
'We'll freeze Turkey talks' warns EU as arrests continue
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a radical purge against anyone suspected of complicity in the coup attempt. Photo: DPA

As Turkish authorities on Friday widened their sweeping post-coup crackdown to the business sector, the European Union's enlargement commissioner implicitly warned that the bloc would freeze Turkey's accession talks if the crackdown violated the rule of law.

I’m ashamed of Germany’s refugee failure: Green leader
Cem Özdemir. Photo: DPA

The head of the Green Party has responded angrily to Angela Merkel’s speech on refugees on Friday, saying he feels “ashamed at Germany’s failure".

German satirists mock Erdogan (and his penis)
Photo: DPA

Tempting fate?

Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

Opinion
How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
10,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd