Connor Fields, a BMX racer who suffered a serious crash during a semifinal event at the Tokyo Olympics on July 30, was set to leave a Tokyo hospital on Thursday.
“I’m back. Ish. Still can only stand for 5-10 min at a time but we’re working!” Fields shared on Twitter around 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, in reply to a message from USA Cycling sharing that he was “on the road to recovery.”
Fields, who suffered a head injury in the crash, has for most of the past week been under the care of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, USA Cycling and local doctors at Tokyo’s St. Luke’s International Hospital.
Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, Chief Medical Officer for the USOPC, announced that Fields would be leaving Japan to “return home to be with his friends and family in Henderson, Nevada, and start his rehabilitation.”
Last week’s crash occurred on the opening lap of Fields’ qualifying heat. He was second in a tight pack of riders when his front wheel caught the back of the leader, France’s Romain Mahieu, and Fields crashed headfirst into the ground. Two riders fell over him in the fray.
He lay on the track for several minutes as race medical personnel attended to him at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. He was brought by ambulance to the hospital, and it was announced later that night he was awake and alert.
Mike Fields, Connor’s father, said that day his son was “alert, answering questions and moving all his limbs,” according to a Sports Illustrated report. Mike added that he was in pain and “quite subdued.”
Fields’ first two runs qualified him for the finals despite the crash, but he was not able to race.
Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann, who went on to win the gold medal, said he didn’t see the crash, but hoped Fields would be alright.
“He’s been a great ambassador for the sport,” Kimmann said. “For me, it’s sad he wasn’t able to defend his gold medal [from the Rio Olympics].”
Fields seemed to be in good spirits given his situation, tweeting in response to one Twitter user, “I’m alive!!! Kinda. Give me a few weeks and we will be coming in HOT at the new studio.”
He also shared another Twitter user’s post showing a picture of Fields’ hospital update on an ESPN bottom ticker, writing “Momma I made it!”
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.