Jolanda Neff’s Olympic campaign suffered an early set-back this week when the Swiss cross country racer was injured in a high speed crash while training.
Neff suffered a ruptured spleen, a fractured rib and a collapsed lung when she crashed on an unfamiliar trail, Trek Factory Racing XC stated in a press release. After receiving care at a Asheville, N.C. hospital, where Neff stayed for three nights, the racer has been released from hospital.
Neff has been training in Brevard, North Carolina’s Pisgah Forest, a Trek Factory Racing XC press release states, at the time of the crash.
“In order to stop internal bleeding in her spleen,” Trek’s statement reads, “Neff’s emergency medical team used a technique called embolization and thankfully avoided the need to remove her spleen.”
View this post on Instagram
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! While I was riding my mountain bike in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, I came off the trail at high speed and crashed onto a pile of tree trunks with spiky branches. My lungs partially collapsed, I broke a rib, and my spleen got ruptured which caused internal bleeding. To stop the bleeding, the medical team first wanted to remove my spleen with emergency surgery but luckily the trauma team at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC, had an expert who could do a procedure called embolization, which meant he went into the artery of my leg to go up to the artery of my spleen to block it with a plug. I am very lucky to be in such good hands!! @luca_shaw has been taking such great care of me and I can’t thank him and his fantastic family enough for being here for me 24/7. Also big thanks to @steelcitymedia for getting me out of the woods. The people at Mission Hospital did an excellent job in a life-threatening situation and my guardian angel has been amazing the last couple days. Trek has been super supportive and sent me a bouqet of beautiful flowers. I‘m still in a lot of pain and breathing is hard, but my condition is stable now. I’m sleeping a lot. Further plans have not been made yet. Thank you to everyone for your messages! Jolanda 🖤
In her own post on social media, Neff shared that “I‘m still in a lot of pain and breathing is hard, but my condition is stable now.” She also thanked emergency staff, hospital staff, her partner Luca Shaw and Steel City Media. You can see her full statement below.
It is not yet clear how this will impact Neff’s mountain bike season, which includes targeting the 2020 Olympic Games XCO event in Tokyo. The 2017 XCO world champion, three time under-23 XCO world champion and multiple time World Cup overall winner is one of the favorites to medal when Japan hosts the Olympics this summer. Neff was 6th in the XCO at the 2016 Olympic’s in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Neff’s 2020 race season was scheduled to start with select cyclocross events. This included cyclocross world championships, which will be held in Neff’s home country, at Duebendorf, Switzerland on February 1, 2020.