Kristina Vogel ready to tackle new life: "It's more difficult than the battle for Olympic gold"
Double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel, who was left paralysed after a training accident in June, has said "tears will not help" to deal with the situation.
In a press conference at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin medical centre, where she has been treated, the German track cyclist recounted the emotional moments right after the crash.
"I said 'breathe, breathe, breathe and then I checked. I realised quickly I would not walk again", the 27-year-old said on Wednesday adding she was ready to tackle her new life.
"I try to adapt myself. I compare myself to a little baby who has to learn step-by-step how to get seated, to walk, and move around."
Vogel crashed at over 60 km/h while training in Cottbus for the German Grand Prix but did not reveal the name of the Dutch rider who was also involved in the collision.
She suffered severe spinal and chest injuries and lost the use of her legs.
"It took quite some time, about three months I think, but now I am ready to face my situation and share my experiences and I want to pass on my positive energy", the 11-time world champion said after recently breaking her silence.
"I have to learn to deal differently with my emotions."
"I am how I am. I am the same person on two wheels as on four wheels. I don't have to hide myself".
It was not the first time Vogel suffered serious injuries. She was hit by a minibus in 2009 while riding close to her home and was placed in a medically-induced coma.
But she fought back to win Olympic gold in the track cycling team sprint at London 2012. Vogel added individual sprint gold at the Rio Games four years later despite her saddle breaking in the closing metres of the race.
The native of Kirgizstan called the process of adjusting to her disability as her toughest-ever battle.
"It's more difficult than the battle for an Olympic gold medal."