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Update on Injured Australian Cyclists
 
By Marianne Werz O'Brien
Date: 8/3/2005
Update on Injured Australian Cyclists
 

Media Update from Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission

South Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes, 20, and her team mate Tasmanian Louise Yaxley, 23, have been moved out of intensive care and into a ward with their team mates at the University Clinic in Jena, Germany.

The pair, along with three team mates, were injured when a teenaged female driver lost control of her vehicle, crossed to the other side of the road and ploughed into the six member Australian women's team on July 18th. Champion cyclist and Olympic rower, Amy Gillett (nee Safe), 29, was killed instantly. A public memorial service for her will be held this Friday August 5th at 11.00am at the Adelaide Superdrome.

Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, says it will be some weeks before Rhodes and Yaxley are flown home to Australia.

"Both are in reasonably good spirits and their parents are still with them in Germany," said Prof.Fricker. "There is still a lot of work to go through in terms of their rehabilitation but so far so good."

Rhodes injuries include seven broken bones in her back and chest trauma. Yaxley sustained a puncture wound to her abdomen, chest trauma, a dislocated elbow and severe abrasions to her arms and legs. She has twice undergone surgery including skin grafts to her arms. Doctors are pleased with the progress of both girls who have begun rehabilitation therapy.

Meanwhile Kate Nichols, 20, is adjusting to life at home in Sydney after arriving back last Sunday night. She is continuing with counselling and with rehabilitation and physiotherapy treatment for her injured right hand and has resumed her university studies.

Sydney's Katie Brown, 21, and Queenslander Lorian Graham, 27, are expected home within the week. Acting on a request from the cyclists the details of their arrival will not be made public. The cyclists have asked us to pass on a request to respect their wishes for no media contact at this stage. In time they may be available but at this stage their psychological and physical recovery is of paramount importance.

"Follow up arranngements are being made by AIS medical staff for ongoing care of all the girls when they return to Australia," said Prof. Fricker. "That will involve both medical monitoring and psychologist assistance.

"The support for the girls will be available for as long as they need it."

Amy's family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honour her memory. The Foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured team mates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship program for promising female cyclists and promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists. People wishing to donate to the Foundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page.

Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to www.cycling.org.au and follow the link on the home page. Messages can also be sent via the Australian Sports Commission website www.ausport.gov.au

 
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