Devastating Concussion Helps Lead To End Of Carmen Small’s Cycling Career

Source: durangoherald.com | Re-Post Duerson Fund 10/2/2017 – 

Carmen Small remembers hearing a rider shout an expletive and her name. More than a minute later, she woke up.

The 37-year-old road cyclist from Durango retired from the sport this week as severe symptoms of a concussion effectively put an end to her career. The wreck happened March 11 at the Ronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands. Six months later, Small still has headaches every day and feels pain in her neck and jaw.

After the wreck, Small returned to Colorado and received treatment at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in hopes to restore her ability to compete. Twelve weeks after the accident, she returned to Europe and hoped to get back on the bike and perform well enough to compete in the Giro Rosa in Italy. She competed in one local race, and her head told her it was time to retire from cycling and not risk another concussion that could have further life-threatening consequences.

“There were 12 of us in a break, and I had gone to the back of the pack to see where the chasing group was,” Small said of the buildup to the wreck during a May interview with The Durango Herald. “I know from experience that if you look behind you, you go the other way. I went to the side of the group to look so I wouldn’t have any problems. I was getting back to the front, and I think what happened is the girl behind me looked back and she hit me. I heard ‘Oh (expletive) Carmen,’ and then she’s hitting me. I blacked out after that, completely out for a minute.”

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