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Another Olympic tragedy

Less than 24 hours before champion South African cyclist Carla Swart died after a training accident a teenage cycling star tipped to ride in the Olympics was killed in a bike crash whilst out training only five miles from home.

Swart, who looked certain to make the team for the 2012 Olympics, died while training in the Free State after being hit by a truck.

In the other latest tragedy to hit the international cycling community, Lewis Balyckyi, 18 – described by his family as ‘inspirational’ and ‘every parent’s dream’ – was cycling in preparation for a forthcoming event in France when he was in collision with a van.

The Daily Mail reports that police and ambulance crews dashed to the crash scene but Lewis was thrown from his bike and suffered massive head injuries. He died before he could be taken to hospital.

It has also emerged Balyckyi of Walton-Le-Dale, Lancashire, who succeeded world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish as a junior winner of the British National Circuit Race Championships, had taken up the sport after a life-battling adversity.

He was born eight weeks premature and overcame a stammer by taking up waiter jobs simply because they involved speaking to customers.

He became the Under-16 champion at the BNCRC in 2008 and was tipped to take part in the 2012 Olympics having competed across England and Europe. He was a member of the Team Wallis squad based at the Ribble Valley.

Cyclists are now planning a memorial ride for Balyckyi which is expected to be attended by British Gold medal winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins.


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