AusCycling Finally Takes Responsibility for Olympians’ Horrifying Crash That Led to Several Injuries at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 02/24/2022, 11:30 AM EST

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were a terrible Olympics for Australian cyclist Alex Porter. Just a kilometer into a 4000-meter sprint qualifier, Porter’s handlebars snapped, planting him face-first into the ground.

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Consequently, he took bruises to his face which definitely did not look too pleasant. However, his sporting soul took the most damage as he ripped off his helmet, shaking his head in disbelief.

Thus, this incident triggered independent research into the quality of the bicycles. Later on, the research found out that AusCycling had rushed along the testing processes, which led to diminished quality.

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AusCycling apologizes for inadequate testing for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Undoubtedly, Alex Porter felt devastated when he crashed his bike facefirst at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the time, Marne Fechner, the inaugural chief executive for AusCycling, had launched a review into the accident.

In fact, the company which supplied the parts for the bicycles, Bastion Cycles, even welcomed the probe. Moreover, they even claimed to help out as much as would be possible to look into the incident.

Today, the report found that the handlebar which snapped off was a customized part that never underwent the number of stress tests that it should have gone through. Subsequently, Fechner apologized publicly for the mishap and promised to implement a fourteen-point recommendation list in the interest of athlete safety and component quality.

Furthermore, Bastion Cycles have also received a five-recommendation plan going forward. In her statement, AusCycling’s CEO stated “We apologize to Alex Porter and his fellow riders”. On behalf of AusCycling, she also apologized “to the broader Australian Olympic team and to the Australian public, all of whom are entitled to expect better”.

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“We acknowledge the anger and frustration that many in and around our system have experienced,” Fechner stated. Subsequently, she promised to “use this opportunity to ensure” that they do not repeat such “failures”.

As it turns out, the decision to move to a smaller bike frame resulted in the need to customize the handlebar. Thus, the design and production process was cut from ten to four months. Furthermore, the Australian team had to test 200,000 bicycles. Sadly, they only tested 50,000 units in order to make it in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Alex Porter reacts to the findings

Alex Porter, who had crashed when the custom handlebars came off, has reacted to the findings of the report. According to the report, even when the International Olympic Committee delayed the 2020 Summer Olympics to 2021, AusCycling did not ramp up or resume testing.

IZU, JAPAN – AUGUST 02: Alexander Porter of Team Australia after falls during the Men´s team pursuit qualifying of the Track Cycling on day 10 of the Tokyo Olympics 2021 games at Izu Velodrome on August 02, 2021 in Izu, Shizuoka, Japan. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Porter stated that he is “glad that we now have greater clarity around what happened”. He also appreciated “AusCycling’s transparency”, acknowledging their apology to all the racers in the Team Pursuit.

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However, he refrained from making any further comment. “I’m still absorbing the details of the report,” Porter explained. The report shockingly found and stated that AusCycling’s staff “made it up as they went along” with inadequately-described policies and processes.

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Surely, for athletes who work years relentlessly to become Olympians, such a revelation must be devastating. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Samarveer Singh

470 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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