'Queen Bee' Kristina Vogel turns to politics

A devastating collision with a Dutch cyclist at the Cottbus velodrome in Germany last June has left her paralysed and signalled the end of her journey on the track.

Kristina Vogel at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 in Monte Carlo.   -  Getty Images

Kristina Vogel is standing for the German Elections in May. The two-time Olympic gold-medal winning cyclist will have to lead her campaign from her wheelchair, though.

A devastating collision with a Dutch cyclist at the Cottbus velodrome in Germany last June left her paralysed after she suffered severe injuries to her spinal chord. That signalled the end of her journey on the track.

After spending a few weeks at the hospital, she returned to public life. Now she has embarked upon a new journey in life.

In December, Vogel was received warmly by spectators when she attended the Berlin Six Day cycling event. A week earlier, she had come second – to tennis star Angelique Kerber – in the race for Germany's Sportswoman of the Year award.

A few days ago, she was here for the Laureus World Sports Awards. As fellow-cyclist Chris Hoy said, in an interaction with the media, she remained the Queen Bee. People wanted to talk to her, and she obliged, with her radiant smile.

“She was the Queen Bee on the cycling circuit,” Hoy said. “I found that she was the Queen Bee at the rehabilitation centre in Berlin.

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'Olympic medal is forever'

”Vogel was embarrassed a little by the tribute from the Sctosman, who also suggested she take up archery as a competitive sport. “I haven't thought about it seriously yet,” said the 28-year-old. “I am doing archery because it helps me physically; any sport is good for me now.

Looking back at her great career, which saw her triumphing at the World championship nine times, Vogel said she was proud about her Olympic medals. “There are so many memories about my medals at Olympic Games in London and Rio,” she said. “As the World champion, you have to defend your title every time, but when you win an Olympic gold, it is forever.”

As for the life after the accident, she said there was still a lot of fire in her. “To people who are in a state like that of mine, I would like to say that they should accept the condition as fast as that they could,” she said. “And I never say never.”

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