Cedar Hills declares Aug. 8 Arielle Martin Day

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8 2012 4:12 p.m. MDT

CEDAR HILLS — Wednesday was supposed to be the day that Arielle Martin proved she was one of the world's best BMX racers in her first Olympic competition.

Instead, she is still hospitalized in California recovering from once life-threatening injuries she suffered on her final day of training before heading to London.

That did not stop her hometown from honoring the Lone Peak and BYU graduate with a resolution. The Cedar Hills City Council passed the resolution declaring Aug. 8, 2012, Arielle Martin Day in gratitude for her hard work, dedication and example of determination.

The resolution states that Martin "exemplifies the traits, abilities, and drive that inspire others in our community to pursue their own personal goals and dreams."

"We wish to express our appreciation to Arielle Martin for the example that she provides to others," stated councilman Trent Augustus. "We are pleased as a city to honor her on this day."

Martin suffered a severely lacerated liver and a punctured lung in her final training run on July 31 in San Diego. She was recovering more quickly than doctors expected when she suffered a setback. She developed pancreatitis and has had three additional surgeries, one to implant a stent that will help her abdomen drain the fluids causing her problems.

Her husband, Michael Verhaaren, who is an active duty sergeant with the Army, said once she gets the pancreatitis under control, she hopes to be released. He has been by her side in California since the accident.

"It's been a busy couple of days, but it looks like she is out of the woods and it's just a matter of time for her to be whole again," Verhaaren said via text.

He said they were touched by the action of the Cedar Hills City Council.

"I'm really thankful as Arielle's husband that her hometown was willing to recognize all of her hard work and dedication. It means a lot to me, her and the rest of our family."

Martin's mom, Lori Woodard-May issued a statement Wednesday night expressing gratitude for the support, encouragement and well-wishes the 27-year-old has received.

"Currently we have no release date and there will be no way for her to travel to London for the closing ceremonies," said Woodard-May. "The doctors have made it clear that flying is simply too dangerous at this point and especially with a trip that long."

Martin and the entire BMX team skipped the opening ceremonies in order to focus on training.

Martin missed a trip to the 2008 Olympic Games in BMX's inaugural event when she crashed in the quarterfinals of the race that would have qualified her. She missed making the team by a single point.

The woman who replaced Martin on the U.S. team, Brooke Crain, crashed during Wednesday's qualifying rounds.

"While devastated and heartbroken that she is unable to compete in London, she is still optimistic about her recovery and already making plans return to the sport. Arielle loves the Olympics and has been watching and cheering the events on from her hospital bed. She is proud of her BMX teammates and wishing them the best as they begin competition."

email: adonaldson@desnews.com

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