The BMX community has rallied behind world cycling champion Caroline Buchanan after she was seriously injured in an off-road crash on Saturday afternoon.
Buchanan was with a friend on private property outside Canberra when the vehicle they were in rolled over, leaving her with collapsed lungs, a broken sternum and broken nose.
According to Cycling Australia, her family confirmed she was expected to make a full recovery.
Late last night she detailed her injuries on Instagram, posting a photo of her lying in a hospital bed, wearing a neck brace and suffering a bloody face.
She also posted a photo of her sternum X-ray.
“I wouldn’t say 2017 ended quite as planned,” the post began.
“It’s been a rough couple of days in ICU after a vehicle roll. I just moved to a private room and everything is moving in a positive direction.
“Happy New Year! Off season just got a little more tough!”
Former Canberra BMX Club board member and longtime cyclist Matt Elliston said the community wished a speedy recovery to someone they considered “the pinnacle of the [BMX] sport”.
“I think everyone is shocked and upset but we also know Caroline to be quite a fighter, so I personally imagine that she will bounce back very quickly and probably with more resolve than she had before,” he said.
“And if I understand her training schedule correctly, being in the off season, if there is a good time to have an accident this would be it.”
Buchanan is a member of the Tuggeranong BMX Club and Mr Elliston is a friend of the family.
He said he and others could not wait to see her back on the track — despite the fact she is rarely in her hometown.
“She’s an icon for us — and she’s very much worthy of that title because of the way she conducts herself and remains very approachable when she is around,” he said.
“Certainly on any occasion where people know she’s going to come, it brings a particularly big turn out.
“Although … she doesn’t seem to get much of a ride in because the others are grabbing her and talking to her around the track.”
The 27-year-old cycling star had a successful 2017, having taken out second place at the BMX Championships in the USA in late July, just weeks before claiming a world title in the mountain bike four cross in Trentino, Italy.
The Italy win marked her eighth world championship trophy.
Adding to her achievements of 2017, Cycling Australia awarded Buchanan the Elite BMX female cyclist of the year and she was named the Canberra female athlete of the year at the ACT’s sports awards.
She had returned to Canberra shortly after her world championship for a break from the track.
Buchanan has sported a high-profile recently as the face of Canberra’s Capital Airport Group, fronting marketing campaigns for Canberra Airport’s new suburb, Denman Prospects.