Friday, July 20, 2012

Samu bids farewell to Olympics

Samuel Sánchez will not defend his Olympic gold in London after all. Despite being seemingly optimistic after a couple of training sessions earlier in the week, a statement on the team's website yesterday afternoon says he's still in good shape, but that "his injuries do not respond to the kind of intensive effort needed at a high level of competition". He's having "difficulty absorbing road irregularities", and he's allegedly not able to break with his right hand. Here's Samu's statement in full:

It's the most painful sporting decision I've been forced to take in a long time. I'm the reigning Olympic champ, and I would have liked to defend a medal that changed my life. After that victory, a street's been named after me, a life-size statue of me has been raised resembling me biting the medal... It was a very significant triumph, and for four years I've been able to wear a jersey identifying me as the Olympic champion. A new Olympic Games is coming up, and I won't be able to defend my role title, but that's cycling. The important thing is to stay strong and keep walking.

I'm a little sad, but there was nothing else to do. I did my utmost to recover, but as I've already said, health comes first. To compete in this state, when I'm not able to break, would be dangerous for myself as well as my colleagues in the peloton. I have to responsible, I can't put anyone at risk. I'll continue to work on my recovery. There's a big part of the season and ambitious goals still left. We have to keep adding WorldTour-points, the Worlds are coming up... I'll continue to work with optimism. There are many challenges ahead, and the first thing I'll do is recover completely to be able to face those in good shape and with illusion.

I want to thank all the professionals who helped me with my recovery. The services of IMQ, the support of the team with Miguel Madariaga at the head, the trust of the Olympic Committee and the Natioal Cycling Federation to give my the needed time to see if I could make it. I'm very grateful to them all, and hopefully I can bring them joy in the near future. And, of course, all the fans. I've received many messages of support, and I've come to see the situation differently. I'm most grateful, and such displays of affection is my gold medal of 2012.



Stephen said...

Such a pity but not unexpected, that is not a course for anyone not 100%

We will always have the memory of 2008, a great race with a brilliant result!

Caitlin Sheehan said...

It wasn't really his course this year but he would have defended it nobly. As Stephen pointed out he still has his place in Olympic history!

Magnus said...

A wise decision. The Worlds should be perfect for him this year


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