Neck surgery for Nhlapo | SASCOC - SASCOC

Neck surgery for Nhlapo

Mark Etheridge
Beijing Olympics 2008 BMX racer Sifiso Nhlapo is recovering from neck surgery in a Norwegian hospital after a bad crash in training Monday.
Nhlapo, who made the final in Beijing before crashing out, fractured his third and fourth cervical vertebrae and suffered extensive ligament damage.

The positive news is that at this stage there are no signs of paralysis and doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery.

As it goes with BMX “Skizo” is no stranger to hitting the deck hard. Last year he knocked himself out in the run-up to World Championships before recovering and winning bronze.

Nhlapo, a member of SASCOC’s OPEX provisional London 2012 squad, suffered the injury Monday night, while on a training session with friend and fellow BMX cyclist Anders Gronsund.

Said Nhlapo’s manager Mark Squires: “Down the first straight, he hit the second jump which is rather like a table top. Sifiso got bounced off and landed on his head. The jaw-piece of his helmet broke clean off … that’s an indication of just how hard he crashed.

“He was knocked unconscious and rushed to hospital. After this first operation he will be in a brace for six weeks before they decide what to do with the damaged ligaments.

“The good news is that he was speaking to the doctor immediately after surgery early this morning, complaining about a lot of pain, but the doctor said that’s normal after this type of surgery. He’ll be in hospital for another two days and then go to Anders’ house to start the recovery process.”


  1. Petrus

    June 23, 2009 at 9:49 am

    best of luck for a speedy recovery Skizo. we need you back on your bike but in your own time. great to know that there doesnt seem to be permanent damage. please keep us updated on his progress

  2. Gideon Sam

    June 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Take your time to recover and please listen to your doctors and take good medical advise. The body can take only so much so please give it time to heal. We will keep you in our prayers for a great recovery.

  3. L Litha

    June 23, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Good luck with the recovery and hope to see you back on your bike soon. My thoughts also go out to your Mom who must’ve been worried sick!

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