Monday, February 10, 2014

This is why we wear helmets

Normally I don't have a whole heck of a lot in common with uber-athletes who fly through the sky and do mind-blowing tricks before somehow landing back on terra firma to the universal adulation of everyone who watches. It takes an unbelievable mixture of guts, athleticism and finesse, and the best I can do is to sit in awe as they do their thing.

But when Czech slopestyle athlete Sarka Pancochova took a huge fall on the hill at the Sochi Olympics yesterday, it kind of hit home. She landed hard on a jump so big the camera can barely zoom out to capture it all. In the process, the back of her head slammed back against the slope. Click here to see what happened to her helmet.

I fancy myself a pretty out-there urban commando cyclist, someone unafraid to take on the worst that London-area drivers can dish out. When I ride, I wear a helmet. And it shocks me how few cyclists do the same, indeed how many parents don't bother to top their noggins - or their kids' heads, either.

Pancochova's helmet died so she didn't have to. Had she not been wearing it, I don't even want to imagine the damage that would have ensued. But because her sport insists on proper safety equipment, she walked away with little more than a great story to tell.

I'm guessing most folks still won't get the message because, let's face it, most people simply don't care. Of course, they should, but rational thought isn't modern humanity's best trait. Still, if this experience prompts one person to wear a helmet, and saves one life in the process, it will have been worth it.

1 comment:

Thumper said...

Oh, man, when her head hit I was sure she was going to be taken off the course on a stretcher. But I have to be honest, it won't change my use of helmets. I wear a full faced helmet on the motorcycle, but I've stopped wearing one on the bicycle, for the most part.

It's risk assessment; for me the risk to wreck is higher on a bicycle if I am wearing a helmet, because I overheat and pass out. I've spent hundreds on helmets, looking for the right one, the one that vents as if I'm not wearing anything at all...have not found it.

So I ride without one, knowing full well what will happen if I wreck, because I know full well what will happen if I do wear the helmet.

If someone comes up with a helmet that will keep me from keeling over at the 30 minute mark...I'm there