BMX Racer Connor Fields Stretchered off After Injury at Tokyo Olympics

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 30, 2021

From left, Alfredo Campo of Ecuador, Anthony Dean of Australia, Connor Fields of the United States, David Graf of Switzerland, and Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes of Colombia compete in the men's BMX Racing quarterfinals at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
AP Photo/Ben Curtis

American professional BMX racer Connor Fields was carried off the Ariake Urban Sports Park course on a stretcher after he was involved in a three-bike crash at the Tokyo Olympics.

A spokesperson for the American cycling team provided an update to Martyn Herman of Reuters among other reporters.

"We can confirm that Connor Fields is awake and awaiting further medical evaluation. We will share additional updates as they become available."

Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal also relayed an update from Fields' father, Michael. 

Mark Anderson @markanderson65

Connor Fields, according to his dad, is being evaluated for a possible concussion. Spine and abdomen checked out clear.

The Associated Press provided more information on the injury, which occurred during the third and final qualifying heat during the men's BMX racing semifinals. 

"Fields was fourth after his opening two heats and landed hard off a jump heading into the first turn in the second heat. The 28-year-old from Las Vegas slammed into the turn and lay on the track as medical personnel rushed out to help him.
"Fields was attended to for several minutes before being carried away. He qualified for the finals, but will not be able to race."

The other two racers involved were Twan van Gendt of the Netherlands and Sylvain Andre of France, both of whom were able to get up on their own power.

Les Carpenter of the Washington Post later reported that Fields was placed in an ambulance waiting outside the course.

Chrös McDougall, reporting for Team USA, provided an update about 20 minutes after the initial crash.

"I'm told it should be a while until we get an update," McDougall wrote. "It also sounds like the rain was likely not a factor. It's BMX, so crashes just happen."

Per Reuters, the semifinals were delayed by 45 minutes due to "heavy rain and thunder."

Fields won the gold medal at men's BMX racing during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. He's also won a pair of gold medals at the UCI BMX World Championships.

Another crash also happened soon afterward, as Australian BMX cyclist Saya Sakakibara was also stretchered off the course during the third qualifying heat of the women's semifinals for the BMX racing event.

Australian sports reporter Mark Gottleib provided a report with encouraging news that Sakakibara would be OK:

Mark Gottlieb @MarkGottlieb

Saya is conscious but shaken after that crash according to reports on the ground. She was moving her arms. That is a relief but really scary scenes. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a>

Mark Gottlieb @MarkGottlieb

Saya Sakakibara being interviewed now. She's in tears saying she's let everyone down including her brother. Couldn't be further from the truth. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BMXRacing?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BMXRacing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a>

Sakakibara was competing in her first Olympic Games.