Ossola Sport

Irena Ossola – Dedication and Determination

10 November 2017, What Really Happened

The other day I was picked up by my host here in Knoxville, TN.  She said she didn’t know what happened to me and figured she would ask in person for the actual account.  At this, I realized most people don’t know the actual account of what happened.  So I thought I would post with the explanation and some pictures of what actually happened.

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10 November 2017

4 hour training ride became a horrible near death accident at 3 hrs in Santa Fe, NM

This is what I am told, as I don’t remember the accident and don’t remember anything until about mid December (1,5 months after the accident). I was riding on West Alameda above the round-about, coming down the hill toward the Silar rd round-about. So I had slowed to 22 kph/14 mph, as I am apprehensive of round-abouts in the USA and the drivers ability to use them. As I came down the hill this man turned in front of me and I collided with his car. He says he could not see me because the sun was in his eyes, but the woman behind him could see me and she was scared when he turned in front of me and saw the collision. I was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, NM, and then flown by helicopter to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.

I am very lucky to still be alive.  My dad say’s he got a call that day with the doctor asking how fast he could get to the hospital because they didn’t know how long I would live for.

I’m so grateful for all I have and have experienced, but going through this is just a little motivation to anyone that is thinking “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t”, because YOU CAN, it’s not that hard to just try.  I am coming back from a near death injury and something that I can’t make excuses for.  I live my life to the limit and love all in my life.  Everyday is a gift and I am grateful for that.




List of the injuries I sustained:

TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury

Dissected carotid arteries in my neck

Broken orbital –  leading to orbital transplant surgery

Broken nose

4 broken front teeth – leading to root canals and crowns on those teeth

Broken scaphoid (wrist) – leading to surgery for screw placement

Broken hand – leading to surgery for pin placement

Broken humerus and surgery for a plate (arm)

Broken collar bone –  leading to winging scapula

2 collapsed lungs –  leading to 2 chest tubes

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Hospital stay:

Coma for 6 days

Hospital for 2 weeks

Rehab until 16 December (20 days)


After I went to live at my mom’s and recover in Taos, NM. I went to therapy about everyday for speech (my head), my hand, or physical therapy for my body. I continued improving slowly but the process has been long. It is not just physical but a mental recuperation as well. Many have been close to me and helping me through this process.

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I have gradually reintroduced myself to riding a bike and now racing. I am a go-hard kind of person, so for me to just sit and wait to get better doesn’t work for me. I have been on the bike slowly since the hospital and as my hands and body allow me, I am back to riding continuously.   Now I am in Knoxville, Tennessee for the USA National Championships. I am learning to be patient with myself and understand that I won’t be in the same fitness or mental state as I was last year.  Nearly 8 months and I am still alive

I am thankful to all my sponsors that stood by me during this period and supported me.  They are so wonderful and help me to come back strong and want to be better.  Currently I am not with a team and this is hard as expenses are 100% on me. Travel, registration, lodging, etc. are big and something more for me to handle.  But there is also a positive because in this way I can choose what races to go to and recover at my own pace.  If you are interested in supporting this process or know someone that might want to sponsor please contact me:  ossola.irena@gmail.com

Races so far:

Javalina Chase, NM

Redlands, CA

Gatineau GP, Canada

UCI World Championships Qualifier Gran Fondo, Canada

USA National Championships, Tennessee



Below are some pictures from just after the accident.  They are quite gory and show the real side of what happened that I won’t post on facebook.  So if hospital beds, stitches and blood don’t bother you, then be my guest to look.








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