Jaroslav Soukup Accident Update

11.09.2012, Liberec / IBU Info JK
Improving after Recent Surgery
Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic, Bronze medalist at the 2012 IBU World Championships continues his road to recovery after a mountain bike accident two weeks ago in Slovenia. On September 4, he underwent a second operation on his injured right arm at the Liberec Regional Hospital.

Copyright IBU/Ernst Wukits

High Speed Crash

His teammate Michal Slesingr shared details of the accident and its aftermath in an interview last week. “First, I was not cycling with the group that day, as I was running. My teammates said the crash happened on a rolling downhill section of trail at high speed and he went over the handlebars, hitting his right shoulder, arm and head. I was back at the hotel waiting and wondering why the team was not back, when one of my teammates came back and told me what happened. Our coach stayed with him, until help came and they took him to the hospital. The coach called us from the hospital with updates. Then after a couple of days, he was stabilized; we drove him back home to the hospital in Liberec, not knowing about the neck injuries, because he did not have a CT scan there. In retrospect, that was very dangerous, because one bump or bad movement to his head could have caused permanent injury.”

Hard Day for Biathlon Family

Slesingr continued, “This was a really bad day for us, because earlier we heard that one of the club teams was in a serious car accident in Poland, with the driver and one passenger severely injured and still in the hospital. Although I did not know them personally, they are part of the biathlon family, so it was a hard day.”


Although Soukup has improved, he still has a long road to recovery. Dr. Martin Smetana, chief of the orthopedic department, commented, “Soukop’s medical condition is generally improved. The cerebral concussion symptoms have subsided and lumbar spine injuries and we continue ongoing treatment of the cervical spine and a conservative approach in the treatment of fractures of the scapula. All those injuries are now without any trouble."

Surgery and Antibiotics

Last week’s surgery was to reset the two breaks in his arm between the hand and elbow, with one of the two being more complex. The one closest to the elbow had to be stabilized with screws and a metal plate. Smetana added, “The operation was carried out without problems, but ... unfortunately infection is a problem with open fractures, which we are treating with antibiotics.”

Good Sign

Czech Head Coach Ondrej Rybar did not make the trip to the Oberhof with his team, but stayed with Soukop. He commented, “The day after the surgery he was in a lot of pain and not communicating much. But now after being in the hospital for so long, he wants to get active, so that is a good sign.”

Big Loss

Slesingr said the whole team was affected by this accident. “We now believe that he will be fine, but it will take a lot of time. Still for our team it is a big loss. We were looking for a fourth man for our relay and now we need two. It is not good, but that is the way it is and we will have to do the best we can for the season and the home World Championships.”