Tragedy on the road. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten was hurt in a horrifying crash while competing in the Women’s Road Race in at the Rio Olympics on Sunday, August 7, with just six miles to go until the finish line.
The 33-year-old Olympian was rounding the bend in first place, traveling at nearly 50 mph, according to SB Nation, when she skidded off the slippery road and flipped over into a ditch.
In video clips of the cringeworthy moment, spectators can be heard gasping as van Vleuten remains motionless on the ground. American competitor Mara Abbott zoomed past van Vleuten seconds later, but she lost steam in the final leg of the race and van Vleuten’s teammate Anna van der Bergen took home the gold.
According to The Guardian, the Dutch cycling federation later tweeted that Vleuten “appears to be OK” after her crash; she was rushed to the hospital shortly after her terrifying tumble, and is currently in the hospital getting additional tests.
The Daily Mail reports that cyclist Chris Boardman, who serves as a commentator for BBC, later said that he was upset about the unsafe conditions of the road.
“I’m actually quite angry because I looked at the road furniture and thought nobody can crash here and get up,” he said. “This was way past technical, this was dangerous.”
Swedish cyclist Emma Johansson took home silver, and Italy’s Elisa Borghini of Italy won bronze.
This is not the first serious injury that has taken place since the 2016 Rio Olympics kicked off on Friday, August 5. On Saturday, French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd snapped and broke his leg during a horrifying accident during a vault landing. According to multiple reports, the crack was heard throughout the arena.
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