Connor Fields was a hot favourite for the BMX title at the Tokyo Olympics, five years after winning the first gold medal in BMX for the United States. But his title defence ended abruptly when he crashed head-first after tangling with Romain Mathieu (France) during his semi-final heat.
On Saturday, one day after the 28-year-old Texan was stretchered off the BMX racing course, USA Cycling published a statement on his improving condition:
“The doctors reported that Fields sustained a brain hemorrhage at the venue. After a night in the ICU, the doctors are pleased to report that there has been no additional bleeding, and no new injuries were found. Fields has been moved out of the critical care unit and will remain in the hospital until cleared.”
The incident cast a shadow over the remainder of the men’s BMX Racing, which had already been marred by misfortune. During a training run earlier in the week, Niek Kimmann (Netherlands) had ploughed into an official who was crossing the track, but despite sustaining a small fracture in his knee, the Dutch rider’s Olympics had the happiest of endings.