“I didn’t want people to see me with such injuries,” she told Der Spiegel, adding that “in the first X-ray pictures, my spine looks like an Ikea folding table.”
Meanwhile, friends and fellow track riders launched a campaign called #staystrongkristina to help Vogel through the recovery process.
“I am very fortunate to still be alive and to have fully functioning arms,” she told Der Spiegel. “I could well have been paralyzed from the neck down.”
Vogel said it was too early to think about a future as a Paralympic athlete, but felt that she was ready to start talking publicly about what happened. “Here I am, and I’m fine,” she said. “I’m still there and still the same old crazy girl you know.
“I want to be a motivation for others,” she went on. “No matter what fate holds for you, life goes on, in my case now on four wheels instead of two wheels. My arms are now also my legs.”