Amador psyched by his early Olympic 2012 selection by Costa Rica
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Amador psyched by his early Olympic 2012 selection by Costa Rica

by VeloNation Press at 10:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Rider showed plenty of character and courage in 2011

Andrey AmadorEleven months since being hospitalised after being mugged while out training and four months after he battled through a sprained ankle to finish the Tour de France, Andrey Amador had a reward for his fighting spirit with early selection for the London Olympics.

The Movistar rider was yesterday told by the Costa Rica National Olympic Committee that he was their selection for London 2012, and would fill the place secured through the country’s world ranking.

“It's a dream come true and a magnificent opportunity to be able to ride there. Which sportsman does not dream about taking part in the Olympic Games?” he said. “It's the most important sporting event in the world and I'll be proud to represent my country in London."

Movistar Continental team rider Gregory Brenes has been confirmed as a reserve, but will only travel if his compatriot can’t take part.

The news will mean a much happier end to the year is in store than was the case last winter. Then, Amador was assaulted while on a solo training ride, running away from his attackers who are thought to have been after his bike.

They followed him and beat him, leaving him lying unconscious on the bank of a river for six hours. He called his family when he came to and was brought home, then hospitalised when he took a turn for the worst. Doctors detected that one of his kidneys had temporarily shut down after the beating, and that he had pulmonary bruising that made breathing difficult.

Despite that bad start to the year, he had a solid season with the team. He was fourth in both the Vuelta a la Rioja and the GP Llodio, and stunned his team doctor when he shrugged off a badly sprained ankle to finish the Tour.

“It did not take a doctor to see he needed a miracle to stay in the race,” said Dr. Jesus Hoyos to Bicicilismo at the time. “If he can finish the Tour, it will be one of the most extreme things that I have seen in my many years in cycling. Not because of the severity of the injury, but it’s so difficult to endure the world's toughest race.”

He was the first rider from Costa Rica to compete in the Tour, and this gave him additional motivation to battle onwards to Paris.

Now London awaits, and its something that motivates him a lot. “To be honest I'm really willing to kick the season off,” he said. “It's been a while since I was so motivated and willing to do things well right from the winter.

“If everything goes right, 2012 must be a season where I take a step forward in my sporting level."


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