Brokeback cyclist takes Olympic gold

German cyclist Kristina Vogel won Olympic gold on Friday three years after surviving a horrific crash which broke her back.

Brokeback cyclist takes Olympic gold
Photo: DPA

The grins on Vogel’s and teammate Miriam Welte’s faces were no less broad for the fact that they only reached the final thanks to the disqualification of the British team – and then saw their silver turn to gold after their Chinese opponents were also penalised.

“We would have liked to have won differently,” admitted Welte, Die Welt reported on Friday. Vogel has spent years recovering from a horrific collision with a minivan in 2009 which left her with a broken vertebra.

Their gold was added to by the men’s quadruple sculls team after Karl Schulze, Tim Grohmann, Philipp Wende and Lauritz Schoof led from the start, crossing the line ahead of Croatia and Australia.

“That was very impressive. I had not reckoned on such a lead. The Croats never had the feeling they could overtake,” said German trainer Hartmut Buschbacher. “We knew that today was going to be our day.”

It was the third rowing medal for Germany, following the gold for the eight-man team and the silver won by the women’s four team.

The Local/hc

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VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.


In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.