After becoming the first American to win an Olympic BMX title in 2016, Connor Fields announced his retirement just over a year later following a potentially fatal crash at the Tokyo Games.
In a video posted to social media on Thursday, Fields said, “I wanted to go out on my own terms, and in a way, I still am, despite the thing that I love most nearly terminating my life.” For the first time since I can remember, I will ride BMX for the same purpose that I did in 1999. “I am still here, still riding, and still that same kid who loved BMX. It’s just a joke, after all.
Injury of Connor Fields
On July 30, 2021, during the Olympic semifinals, Fields, then 29 years old, crashed and suffered a collapsed lung, a broken rib, and brain shearing and bleeding. According to his latter account, he remained unconscious “for a very long time” and even stopped breathing.
Five days after the accident, he was released from a hospital in Tokyo, and by the end of August, he had left a rehabilitation centre in Utah.
By the fall, Fields had undergone shoulder reconstruction surgery after discovering he had ruptured shoulder ligaments and a partially torn bicep tendon.
Doctors informed him he had made a Full Mental Recovery
His doctors informed him he had made a full mental recovery by late winter and could start slowly getting back on his bike. Eight months had passed since the Olympics and he still hadn’t tried it. He completed his shoulder rehabilitation in April.
Fields kept stressing throughout that he had no idea when he might be able to compete again. Life was something he was taking one day at a time.
Fields, a native of the Las Vegas region, considered retiring before the Tokyo Games, especially after undergoing knee surgery in 2010 and again after suffering a concussion in a 2018 collision.
I missed the first half of the 2011 season because of a knee injury, and when I finally returned in the middle of the year, I made the decision to turn pro and give it my all in an attempt to make my goal a reality. After nine years in the industry, I still have the same passion I felt as a youngster who would ride until the lights came on.
Racing BMX bikes is, quite literally, in my veins. My parents have always been my number one cheerleaders, but I’ve also been fortunate to have wonderful coaches, sponsors, and other backers throughout my career.