Faith and family sustain BMX racer Arielle Martin in wake of Olympics heartbreak

Published: Saturday, Aug. 25 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

"Thanks to my family, my husband, especially, who hasn't left my side since day one," she said. "My coach, James, who continues to be supportive and was as heartbroken as I was when the accident happened. My sponsors who continue to stand by me even though I am unable to compete: Intense, THE, SINZ, Oakley, Nike, FLY. The medical staff at the (Olympic center) in Chula Vista, USA Cycling for how they handled the transition and their continued concern and support for my recovery. Elder Ballard, President Clayton, the Chula Vista, Spanaway and Alpine wards that held prayers and fasts for me, as well as all the other members of the church who reached out. Last but not least, thanks for all the flowers, cards, messages and words of encouragement from my friends and fans. The outpouring has been overwhelming, I had no idea that I had touched so many people, and my heart swells with gratitude."

Back on a bike

Martin lost 12 pounds and still doesn't have full expansion of her right lung. But she was able to ride the antique Schwinn cruiser that her father restored for her last Christmas.

"It was just an easy 15-minute spin around the neighborhood. I had to take a nap after, but it felt so good to be outside in the fresh air pedaling again."

Martin has already made the toughest decision — she will continue to race and maybe even take one more shot at representing the United States in the Olympic Games.

"Yes, Rio (de Janeiro) is on the table," she said. "I feel like I have unfinished business out there. The last thing I want is to leave the sport this way because of an injury; I want to do it on my terms, when I'm ready. Right now it's a day at a time with my first goals being my first day back on the track, first race back in Florida in February, from there the World Championships in New Zealand and beyond."

Email: adonaldson@desnews.com

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