BMX racer Connor Fields bouncing back after crash at Olympics
Connor Fields, a Green Valley High School and UNLV graduate, was involved in a scary BMX crash in last year’s Olympics in Japan and is recovering from a brain injury.
Connor Fields, who was involved in a frightening BMX crash at last year’s Summer Olympic Games in Japan, said he found out last month from doctors that his cognitive abilities are completely restored.
Fields was taken to a Tokyo hospital after he crashed July 30 and was treated for a brain hemorrhage among other major injuries.
“Any sort of injury, whether it’s a knee, an ankle or a shoulder, that’s just time and physical therapy,” Fields said. “Those will heal. With your head, it’s a totally different ballgame. And for everything that we know about the brain, we really don’t know that much.”
Fields, who went to Green Valley High School and UNLV, also should recover from shoulder surgery in about a month.
Then he will begin easing back onto a bike. But he isn’t setting a deadline about deciding whether to return to competitive racing.
Fields, 29, won the gold medal in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro and was a strong favorite in Japan.
“For the past seven months, I haven’t done anything that is risky because I don’t want to hit my head,” Fields said. “I’ll start riding a little bit again as well as stop living like I’m made of glass.”
Strong start for Cunningham
Bishop Gorman High graduate Vashti Cunningham won both her high jump events this year, including the U.S. Indoor Championships on Feb. 27 in Spokane, Washington, with a leap of 1.91 meters (just more than 6 feet 3 inches).
Her leap of 1.98 meters (6 feet 6 inches) two weeks earlier in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world’s second-highest this year.
The next major meets for Cunningham, 24, are the U.S. Outdoor Championships on June 23-26 and the World Athletics Outdoor Championships on July 15-24. Both are in Eugene, Oregon.
NEO Studios is doing a six-part documentary series on discovery+ on Cunningham and two other children of notable athletes — Zaire Wade (Dwyane Wade’s son) and Evan Holyfield (Evander Holyfield’s son). Randall Cunningham, who also serves as Vashti’s coach, was a star UNLV and NFL quarterback.
Randall Cunningham also coaches Jelena Rowe, who moved to Las Vegas from Chicago. Rowe, 22, is ranked second nationally in the high jump with a leap of 1.95 (nearly 6 feet 5 inches) in Louisville.
Swimming in the Springs
Nine Sandpipers of Nevada swimmers are training for a month in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to prepare for major upcoming events.
The Open Water National Championships are April 1-3 in Fort Myers, Florida, and the International Team Trials are April 26-30 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Sixteen-year-olds Katie Grimes and Bella Sims, Olympians last year, are the two locals most likely to qualify for the World Championships on June 18-July 3 in Budapest, Hungary.
Another Sandpiper, 16-year-old Abby Dunford, is preparing for the Canadian trials on April 5-10.
Sullivan delivers twice
Texas freshman Erica Sullivan, an Olympic silver medalist last year who also swam for the Sandpipers, recently won Big 12 Conference championships in the 1,650 meters (15 minutes, 58.74 seconds) and the 500 (4:39.46).
The Palo Verde High product will compete in the NCAA Championships on March 16-19 in Atlanta.
Sullivan also is preparing for the open water World Championships.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.