KEARNS — Brittany Bowe didn’t know what was happening to her, but she knew it was bad enough she needed to get help.
“I woke up with a terrible headache, and later that afternoon, I started to feel really, really bad,” said Olympic speed skater. “I didn’t know what was happening to me, and it was like this really weird sensation overtook me. I tried to get to my neighbor’s house because I was scared. I was home alone, and I didn’t know what was happening to me.”
As she attempted to walk a few hundred feet from her Salt Lake City home to her neighbor’s front door, the world around her began to twist and go dark.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to pass out’,” she said during U.S. team selections in October. “And then I did pass out. Actually, I passed out a few times.”
Each time, the rushing sound in her ears and the tunnel vision signaled that she was about to lose consciousness, so she lay down to avoid a fall.
“When I came to, I kind of tried to scramble to my fee because I like to be in control of what’s going on,” she said, smiling slightly. “I didn’t even make it into her house. That went on for what felt like an eternity, but it was probably just a few minutes. And that was kind of the start of all of this craziness that’s been going on the past year.”
That ‘craziness’ is that one of the world’s top long track speed skaters — and world record holder in the 1000 meters — lost nearly an entire year to concussion symptoms after she and a teammate collided during training at the Kearns Olympic Oval in July of 2016.
Despite playing college basketball, competing as an elite inline skater for years and working to become one of the world’s top long track athletes, Bowe had never had a serious injury.
That changed when the collision knocked her off her feet and onto the ice.
“I didn’t lose consciousness, but I knew I’d never been hit that hard in the head,” she said. “It was just kind of a freak accident. He was going one way, and I was going the other way, and (it) blindsided me. I got up and skated around a little bit, and then, like after a few minutes, I was like, ‘I really got my head rocked there.’”
A few minutes …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News