Victoria Williamson: Cyclist 'lucky not to be paralysed' after crash

Victoria Williamson
Victoria Williamson made the switch to cycling from athletics at the age of 15

Britain's Victoria Williamson says she is lucky not to be paralysed after her serious crash at Rotterdam's Zesdaagse.

The 22-year-old fractured her neck and back, dislocated her pelvis and slipped a disc in her neck after colliding with Elis Ligtlee during the omnium final.

Norfolk's Williamson spent four weeks in hospital after January's accident.

"They were pretty sure paralysis was going to be the outcome while I was in Rotterdam, but luckily I pulled through," she told BBC Look East.

"Being an athlete, I think they said because my neck and back were so strong I was able to withstand the force.

"Although I did break a few bones, my spinal cord stayed intact and I'm here to live another day."

Victoria Williamson
Williamson was initially told she had to spend eight weeks in hospital, but left in half that time

Racing at the event was cancelled after the 2013 World Championships bronze medallist's crash, with fans asked to leave the velodrome.

"I have no memories, which is probably pretty good," she said. "It's not going to put me off in the future," she said.

"I remember holding onto the fence getting ready to roll up to the final and then next thing I know I was in hospital and someone was telling me I'd had an accident. I just responded with 'did I win?'. That was all I was worried about."

Williamson hopes to be back "easy riding" on a bike by the end of the summer and says she has the right support around her to make a full recovery.

Archive: Bronze for Williamson and Becky James in the women's team sprint at the 2013 Track World Championships

"I'm going to get back on a bike eventually," she added. "I've got no timescale yet, but I don't know what level I'll be able to get to. I'll give it a good go.

"I've got the full support team behind me, I've got physios, doctors. We've got the world's best. At the end of the day, we're a great programme, so I've got every chance of getting back to where I was."

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