Cycling: Olympic BMX medallist Jelle van Gorkom on long road to recovery after waking up from coma

Jelle van Gorkom was hurt in an accident on Jan 9 during training on a BMX track in the Netherlands.
Jelle van Gorkom was hurt in an accident on Jan 9 during training on a BMX track in the Netherlands. PHOTO: AFP

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch BMX cyclist Jelle van Gorkom has awoken from a coma and his life is no longer in danger, officials said on Monday (Jan 22), cautioning however that he faced a long recovery.

The 27-year-old is "making good progress, and is out of acute danger," the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU) said on its website.

Van Gorkom, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was hurt in an accident on Jan 9 during training on a BMX track at the national sports centre in eastern Papendal near Arnhem.

He was placed in an induced coma for several days, suffering from broken ribs, a fracture to the face, a fractured skull and damage to his liver, spleen and kidneys.

The KNWU said van Gorkom was now conscious, reacting to stimuli, making contact and recognising people.

But he remains "fragile" and "it is obvious that he will need a long rehabilitation with no guarantees that he will make a full recovery," the association said.