Ian Hutchinson: King Midas on two wheels

Posted: June 9, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Road racing has given us some truly uplifting stories over the years and now we’ve had one to top the lot – Hutchy’s victories in the Supersport and Superstock TTs, at the end of five long years of fighting his way back to fitness after that terrible crash at Silverstone in 2010. It’s a tale that deserves much more publicity than it will probably get, but that doesn’t detract in any way from the achievement.

just one step on the way back...Hutchy in Swan Yamaha livery at Signpost, 2012

Just one step on the way back…Hutchy in Swan Yamaha livery at Signpost, 2012

Hutchy’s success on the 600 Yamaha was described as a fairytale on the BBC website but I doubt if the man himself would see it quite like that. From the horror of the original accident through the news that he’d need his foot amputated to the 30-plus operations, the hours in rehab, the frustration of riding without being able to do himself justice, and seeing other riders scoop up the glory in his absence, it’s hard to imagine a worse experience for a professional sportsman. For those unfamilair with the tale, Hutchy was struck by another bike in that spill at Silverstone, doing such serious damage that amputation of his foot was recommended but Hutchy refused to allow the medics to go ahead. Trying to think of another competitor who has triumphed over anything similar, I thought of Alex Zanardi, the F1 driver who had both legs amputated after a crash while racing in the Champ Car series in Germany. Zanardi overcame the mental scars as well as the physical damage to win a gold medal in the handcycling time trial at the 2012 Paralympics. Talent is essential in big-time sport but without determination it is nothing, as any Liverpool football fans who have watched Mario Balotelli this season might agree. Hutchy has provided a spectacular lesson in the value of determination, turning disaster into triumph like King Midas on two wheels. He’s also one of the most modest individuals in the sporting world, so at a time when the sports pages are dominated by financial scandals in football and drug allegations in athletics, how good to have something genuine to make the world seem a better place.

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