TOKYO — Most people expected Connor Fields to win the Olympic BMX race, so he took a flying leap off the mountain ramp at the start. From the left side of the track towards the front of the group as it barreled, the riders bunched together, down the first straightaway, he started pedalling aggressively.
On Friday, the first bend had been problematic even for athletes who accept falling as part of the job, as it was a sharp bank left with a high elevation that required riders to steer up, lean left, turn their wheels, and shoot back down. Both the men’s and women’s semifinalists who went on to the Olympic final shared this characteristic. It has been four years since Fields won the race in Rio, and he fully intends to defend the gold medal he earned there.
Fields’ front wheel looked to clip the back wheel of the lone participant in front of him just before that bend in this race. Fields lost control of his vehicle and careened into the corner as he skidded. In addition, this led to a pileup, and two cyclists behind Fields rolled their motorcycles over him. Bikes and people were flying by as his body turned over and his head appeared to hit the track. The sight of it caused pain and alarm.
A group of medics and volunteers hurried onto the track, followed by a stretcher. They clustered around Fields for what seemed like 10 minutes while the crowd became silent and the broadcast delayed, ostensibly out of respect and concern, to air the replay. At last, a group of people in blue Tokyo 2020 clothing wheeled the stretcher containing Fields off the track. Immediately, they escorted him out of the building.
Mike texted that he was “not in a good place right now” and was awaiting word from the hospital where Connor had been taken. The state of knowledge as of 1:15 p.m. It was reported to Mike on Thursday in Tokyo that his son was “awake, answering questions and moving all his limbs,” but he also reported that his son was in discomfort and “veryquiet” while he underwent CT scans of his head, spine, and belly. Thanks for reading our article Defending BMX Olympic Gold Medalist Connor Fields Is …