Olympic hopeful was hit by truck, recovered, and coached by Armstrong

Olympic hopeful was hit by truck, recovered, and coached by Armstrong

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by Ryan Larrondo

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 10:22 PM

BOISE -- It has been a long road leading up to Exergy Tour 2012 for 29-year-old Kristin McGrath.  One that was made possible by help from her coach and teammate, Kristin Armstrong, but also a whole lot of determination.  

Kristin McGrath often gets mistaken for Boise rider Kristin Armstrong. 

The two have similar features, blonde hair, and are both fierce competitors on the race course.  Which is why McGrath asked Armstrong to coach her two years ago and moved to Boise last year to train with the gold medalist.

But that isn't the only thing McGrath feels fortunate about.  Two years ago, she was a rising star with wins under her belt and likely more to come.  But that came to a crashing halt on a cold morning back in 2010.

"I left my house on a training ride, came to a four way stop, stopped, looked all ways, saw a car, a truck actually, coming down the road but assumed that person would stop at the stop sign and proceeded into the intersection," said McGrath.

But the truck didn't stop. McGrath was struck and thrown thirty feet.  The outcome of the terrible accident was a broken femur, a double compound fracture, and blood loss. 

"It was a really scary experience. It was the scariest thing that every happened to me," said McGrath.

She survived the accident, but what of her career as a professional cyclist.  After such a traumatic accident, coming back would not be easy.

It was the words of her little brother on the morning of the accident that made her determined to get back on the bike. 

"I remember right before they kinda like really knocked me out with a lot of medication in the ambulance I asked him, 'Is my career over, Nate?" And he said, 'Only if you want it to be.' So I was like, okay.."

After months of rehab, and the support of family, friends, and her coach,  McGrath has once again reached the pinnacle of professional cycling.

She is on the short list to make the US Olympic team to compete in London, a dream that has kept her going, against some pretty long odds.

"It's really hard to give up on Olympic dreams. You know, I kinda feel like I was given a second chance so I've gotta take it and run with it," said McGrath. " I'm not really one to sit around and be like 'poor me. I got hit by a car.' It is what it is. I got a second chance, and I gotta take it."
 

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