Paralympic Cyclist Could Make Her Way to the General Games

Monique Van der Vorst, a Paralympic silver medalist in hand cycling, had been paralyzed for years when another accident yielded an unexpected result: feeling in her legs.

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Monique Van der Vorst seems like the type of person who can take a bad situation and turn it around. An active child, Van der Vorst was only 13 when she underwent an operation that went wrong, leaving her with a damaged nerve and paralyzed from the hip down in one leg. Ten years later, a car accident left her completely paralyzed from the waist down. Yet during that time she still pursued athletics, specifically handcycling, and earned two silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. She had her sights set even higher for her next challenge: the London 2012 Paralympics.

But once again, things didn’t go as planned for the 27-year-old Dutch woman. While training, she was hit by another cyclist and the crash landed her in the hospital. Except this time, instead of doing more injury to her body, the trauma seemed to correct some previous ailments as she soon found herself able to move her legs.

Doctors can’t explain it, but after 14 years in a wheelchair, Van der Vorst is now reportedly able to walk. And after enduring a rigorous recovery, Van der Vorst is once again looking ahead to athletics — the 2016 Olympics, to be more specific. While now that might seem like a pipe dream — she’s still unable to run — NewsFeed wouldn’t put it past her. She has just been signed to professional road cycling team Rabobank. With her track record, surely the Olympics can’t be too far behind.

MORE: Thought the Games Were Over? Think Again

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