Brain injury and the road to Rio

Top British eventer William Fox-Pitt competes in the Rio Olympics just ten months after sustaining a serious head trauma.
William Fox-Pitt jumping in cross country section
On the 17 October 2015 British event rider William Fox-Pitt sustained a serious head trauma when he fell from his horse at a top event in France.  He was placed in an induced coma and spent three weeks in a French hospital before flying back to the UK on the 9 November to continue his treatment.

Challenges and goals

Fox-Pitt talks in this video about some of the challenges he faced following his head injury including visual problems which left him unable to drive and unsure whether he would be able to ride again.  But once back in the saddle he talks about how his horses helped his recovery and the goal of riding at the Rio Olympics helped him to focus.

Family impact and support

Fox-Pitt has talked openly about the impact his injury has had on his family and how his wife Alice’s support has been crucial to his recovery. He says “I was unconscious for two weeks, but I think I suffered the least. I was oblivious to it. My poor family had to deal with the condition I was in.  “It was very difficult for Alice. She didn’t know if she was going to have a dad for her children, she didn’t know whether, if she did have a dad for her children, whether he’d be any good. “She’s been a huge support through my recovery and is very supportive of my ambition for Rio. I certainly couldn’t have done it without her.”

Rio Olympics

Now just ten months on William Fox-Pitt has made an incredible recovery and finished the first stage of the Rio Olympic three day event in gold medal position.  Following a small error in the cross-country Fox-Pitt goes into the final stage in 22nd place.  Although unlikely to win an overall medal this is an amazing achievement for him and will give many others hope following brain injury.
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