Foreign bodies

Posted by SuperClydesdale on February 20, 2011 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

I am not going to complain about the scrapes I get mountain biking any more.

Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang's leg after finishing third in the Track Cycling World Cup. Ouch?

There’s a track rider who took third place in the Track World Cup last week, finishing with a massive splinter going all the way through his leg.   Splinter may not do justice to this… “piece of wood” is a more apt description.   This guy is freakin’ TOUGH.  He still finished third!

The Track World Cup took place in Manchester, England at the National Cycling Centre.  One can only wonder what condition the Manchester velodrome’s track must be in if this type of thing can happen.   Are they riding on rough-hewn planks of wood?  Come on guys, time to refinish the damn floor!

I think that, at least in some small way, the fact that the host country and cycling facility itself  insisted on using the European (a.k.a., “wrong”) spelling for the name of the center, that this whole thing mightn’t have happened.  Next time, use the American spelling of “Center” instead of  ”Centre,” and perhaps these types of incidents could be avoided.

While Mr. Awang’s leg, and the fact that he still finished third in the competition is spectacular, I am left to wonder if he is just some sort of Malaysian wonder boy.   I don’t know if the Malaysians really have much of a coaching system in place, as there’s another guy on the team who apparently didn’t know which end of the bike is up.  Very sad.

Apparently, this style of track racing is pretty dangerous.   In a follow-up AP story, British cyclist Jason Queally was quoted as no longer doing these types of races after being speared by an 18″ piece of wood.  In the same story, references to riders being “pierced through the ribs” with splinters?   If there was ever an argument for an artificial surface, I think the track guys have one!   I recall going to the  Olympics and watching the track events on a cement track.

While Mr. Awang’s injury is spectacular, his ability to get back on the bike and finish the race is even more astounding.  But, to put things into perspective, I remember a photo I saw in high school of a guy walking into a hospital with a board all the way through his chest.   Apparently, he was in a car accident in which he had hit a fence at high speed, and one of the fence rails — looked like a 2×6 —  had gone all the way through him.  Yet, he was able to walk into the hospital.

According to the story, in which he dodged death in that accident, he was apparently feeling somewhat immortal.  He was last seen on top of a storm wall watching a hurricane.   Sort of like Final Destination meets the Darwin Awards.

Had Mr. Awang’s injury been of the more spectacular variety — with an entire plank of the track going through his chest — I think it would have been a little more newsworthy.   That, or his teammate Josiah Ng winning a race.

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