UPDATED: Crash Un-Paralyzes Paralyzed Paralympic Star

December 11, 2011

UPDATE, 8 OCTOBER 2012: It has just been brought to our attention that this story is a hoax. Ugh.

An April 2012 ABCNews story on fake handicaps in sports for the disabled contains these paragraphs:

The Dutch handbiker Monique van der Vorst had won two silver medals in the 2008 Paralympics. But after that she suddenly experienced a seemingly miraculous recovery. In the summer of 2010, she claimed that she had regained sensation in her legs after 13 years in a wheelchair. Since then, she said, she could stand up, walk and even ride a racing bike again.

Now Van der Vorst has had to admit that she was also able to stand and walk during her career as a paraplegic handbiker. Former competitors and neighbors had reported often seeing the athlete outside of her wheelchair — taking a shower, or even dancing. Van der Vorst was a sports celebrity in the Netherlands, and now everyone is outraged. The newspapers are calling it a “scam” and a “lie.”

Update over.


And in what is without question a candidate for the most amazing story of the year, last year, next year, and possibly every other year ever – she’s now in training to go to the regular old Olympics in 2016. Because just coming un-paralyzed? Boring!

Paralympic silver medallist Monique van der Vorst has miraculously become an able-bodied Olympic hopeful after a crash reversed her paralysis.

Paralysed from the hip down since she was 13, the 27-year-old handcyclist was hit by a bicycle last year while training in her wheelchair for the 2012 London Paralympics.

While recovering from the trauma, van der Vorst’s feet started to tingle and miraculously she began to move them again.

She said she would never forget the moment she took her first steps again after months of rehabilitation. […]

Doctors have no explanation for her amazing recovery.

Wow. We have heard more than the usual amount of amazing stories in our time here at the BRI – but this one is way, way up there. We really hope she makes it to the Olympics in 2016 to cap all this off. We’ll be rooting for you, Monique!

Here’s a nice take on the story from The Manitoban. And here’s Monique’s website.

P.S. Whether or not Tim Tebow had anything to do with this remains to be determined…



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