Kristina Vogel burst into tears as Olympic gold medallist opens up on tragic accident that left her paralysed

Kristina Vogel broke down into tears as she gave an emotional account of the tragic accident that left her paralysed.

Vogel, a German two-time track cycling Olympic gold medallist, has faced devastating consequences after a freak crash during training earlier this summer.

Completing a session on a concrete circuit in her homeland, the 27-year-old was practicing sprints with team-mate Pauline Grabosch.

But a collision would change her life forever.

“She swung out and I went into the lead, and then everything went black, deep black,” Vogel told Der Spiegel. “My next memory was regaining consciousness on the track.”

Vogel celebrates at the UCI Track World Championships in 2017

Vogel regained consciousness on the track, but revealed how a huge pressure suddenly hit her body and she knew that things had taken a turn for the worse.

She said: “[It was] as if my whole body was swollen. Everything was too tight for me, especially my racing shoes. They are fitted precisely so that you have the optimal power transfer.

“I said: Take my shoes off, just take my shoes off. And then I saw someone walking away with my shoes. But I hadn’t felt it when they took them off.

“It was immediately clear to me, that’s it. Now I’m a paraplegic. I won’t be able to walk again.”

Vogel celebrates after winning a race in early 2018
Vogel had 11 World Championship gold medals to her name

Vogel says that she was finding it hard to breathe following the incident and she begged her team-mates to stay with her and hold her hand.

After being taken to hospital in Cottbus, she was quickly transferred to Berlin Trauma Centre by helicopter.

She was placed in an artificial coma ahead of an initial operation, before coming out of it two days later.

Vogel says that she was feeling immense pain throughout her body when she woke up – and that was when she got confirmation that she was was paralysed.

Her spinal cord had been severed at the seventh thoracic vertebra, around the chest area downwards.

Vogel (right) poses with her Olympic gold medal from London 2012

She says that she had to fight harder than she ever had done before, as was placed in and out of artificial comas and suffered a violent case of pneumonia.

“I was in pain and there are no words to describe it,” she said. “The doctors had a lot of trouble getting me adjusted to painkillers. My body absorbed the drugs like a sponge.

“But they also couldn’t give me too many because it would have paralyzed my lungs.

“At times, I really thought I was going to die. But I said to myself: You can’t give up now. You have to carry on…”

At this point, Vogel began to cry.

“I’m sorry. I don’t usually cry.”

Vogel does not know if she will return to Paralympic sport in years to come

One of the big highlights for Vogel was the moment when her husband, former track cyclist Michael Seidenbecher, could take her in his arms again.

But it was not a positive moment.

She said: “Actually, it was quite the opposite. That’s when I first realised just how paralysed I was. I had no strength whatsoever and I sat there like a little baby with my head wobbling back and forth.”

Vogel has not began thinking about what the future holds – and says that she is not sure if a Paralympic sport, or anything competitive, would be for her.

She is hoping to be out of hospital and back home by the end of the year, which will be granted if she can take care of herself on her own again.

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