Connor Fields Let Ride Again BMX

A little over a year after a potentially fatal incident at the Tokyo Olympics, Connor Fields, the first American to win an Olympic BMX title in 2016, announced his retirement.

Connor Fields Let Ride Again BMX

In a video posted to social media on Thursday, Fields said, “I wanted to go out on my own terms, and in a way, I still am, despite the thing that I love most nearly terminating my life.” For the first time since I can remember, I will ride BMX for the same purpose that I did in 1999. “I am still here, still riding, and still that same kid who loved BMX. This will be a lark.”

Connor Fields Let Ride Again BMX

On July 30, 2021, during the Olympic semifinals, Fields, then 29 years old, crashed and sustained a collapsed lung, broken rib, and sheared and leaking brain tissue. Later, he described being unconscious “for a very long time” during which he stopped breathing.

Five days after the accident, he was released from a Tokyo hospital, and by the end of August, he had left a rehabilitation centre in Utah.

As the fall progressed, Fields underwent shoulder reconstruction surgery after discovering he had ruptured shoulder ligaments and a partially torn bicep tendon.

By late winter, doctors had assured him he had achieved a full mental recovery from the accident and could begin slowly getting back on his bike. Since the Olympics, eight months had passed since he last used. His last shoulder therapy session was in April.

Fields kept saying he was unsure about whether or not he would compete again. Day by day, he was living his life.

Fields, who grew up in the Las Vegas area, considered retiring before the Tokyo Games, first after undergoing knee surgery in 2010, and then again after suffering a concussion in a 2018 collision.

“As I got older and watched my opponents retire and move on, it started to sink in that professional BMX racing was not going to be forever,” Fields says in the film.

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