Bobsleigh - Miracle comeback sees Shone win British bobsleigh bronze

Serita Shone completed her remarkable comeback from a fractured spine to claim a bronze medal in the British Bobsleigh Championships in Igls, Austria.

Eurosport
Bobsleigh - Miracle comeback sees Shone win British bobsleigh bronze
.

View photo

Serita Shone with her bronze medal at the British Bobsleigh Championships in Igls, Austria

Shone suffered a double fracture of the spine after crashing in a training run for the British Championships at Winterberg in October 2011.

"I shed a tear before the race. I was so proud to make it to the start line of my first race," she told BBC Sport.

"I've had a whirlwind of a year trying to get back to being competitive at an elite level. I'm really happy."

Shone, 23, finished third with Sian Huxtable in the two-woman event, with Vicky Olaoye/Sarah Adams winning gold and Deni Milner/Jo Nightingale silver.

She was forced to change roles from brakewoman to pilot as a result of her accident, which was so severe that there were fears she would never walk again.

The damage to the L1 and L2 sections of her spine shifted it 15mm - anything more than 5mm usually results in paralysis.

"Sian has been so supportive coming out here to partner me and she ran really well on the back of the bobsleigh,” added Shone.

"To be on the podium in my first British Championships as a novice driver with only a handful of runs makes me really pleased."

She is unlikely to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but harbours hopes of making it to the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Reflecting on the accident to The Guardian last year, she described it thus: "It was like someone had stuck a hot pipe, a massive burning pipe, right through the middle of me.

"I somehow held on to the bob and thank God I did because if I'd let go I would've ended up horribly mangled. I remember screwing my eyes and my face into the tightest ball because, as I clung on for dear life, I didn't know what else to do with the pain.

"I couldn't scream. I was so winded I could hardly breathe. Once the bob came to a standstill I flopped backwards. I thought that was strange. I tried to speak to Fiona [Harrison], who'd been driving, but she was unconscious. I couldn't move or talk. I could just let out noises. I can't even describe them. I'll call them wails. Wails of pain.

"The floodlights were right above us. I stared into them and I was aware of turning numb and cold and hot all at the same time. Finally, people stood over us. I couldn't see who they were as it was a mixture of bright lights and dark faces.

"The commotion started and I thought how long it had taken them to reach me. It was probably no more than a minute – but it felt like an hour."

View comments (45)