Jaikel targets Parapan Am medal despite injury

The Costa Rican para-cyclist had a serious accident while training, but is confident he will get to Toronto 2015 in top condition. 17 May 2015
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Costa Rica's Dax Jaikel is hoping to make the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games despite suffering an injury earlier this year.

Costa Rica's Dax Jaikel is hoping to make the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games despite suffering an injury earlier this year.

ⒸDax Jaikel
By Hernan Goldzycher | for the IPC

“I always try to keep enduring hard times and forging ahead. My strength comes from my wife and daughter’s support,”

Costa Rican para-cyclist Dax Jaikel is still aiming to win a medal at August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games in Canada despite suffering serious injury following a training ride crash earlier this year.

Immediately after finding out he would be heading to Toronto 2015, Jaikel started training more enthusiastically than ever, but a serious fall left him with a fractured left clavicle and several injuries to his left shoulder and ribs.

“I was riding down a mountain at 45km/h. Suddenly, I saw a huge hole in the ground. I could neither stop nor slow down, so I tried to avoid it. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful,” said Jaikel who finished 8th in the men’s time trail C4 at London 2012.

“I fell onto the ground and rolled over and over. My helmet was broken and I got hit on my head and left side of my body.”

Despite facing a long and exhausting recovery, Jaikel never lost hope.

“I always try to keep enduring hard times and forging ahead. My strength comes from my wife and daughter’s support,” he said.

Surprisingly, he was back on the roads within a month after undergoing a rehabilitation process. His optimism and commitment were decisive in his incredibly fast recovery. Now, he is trying to make up for lost time.

“I wake up at 4.30 a.m. from Monday till Friday. I train for four hours and then go to work. Once I leave work, I get on the bike again and continue training for four more hours,” said Jaikel who admits he is still a little afraid of riding downhill, a fear he expects to overcome soon.

“I have to be well prepared to achieve my goal, which is winning a medal at Toronto 2015. Colombian cyclist Diego Dueñas will be my main rival. Besides, performing well at the Parapan American Games is important in order to obtain qualification for Rio 2016.

“I believe I can also earn the necessary points to qualify for the Paralympic Games next season.

“Competing in London was a wonderful experience. All the athletes were very professional. It was a high level competition.

“Nevertheless, I am not desperate to compete at another Paralympic Game. It is certainly a huge motivation, but what I want to think about first is to achieve success at this year’s Parapan American Games.”

The Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games will take place between 7-15 August and will feature around 1,600 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports.

Tickets are now on-sale at the Toronto 2015 website.