Video: Brook Macdonald's Incredible Recovery from a Spinal Injury in 'The Road Back'

May 3, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesIt was supposed to be just another training run on the World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada back in summer of 2019, but a fall down the “La Tarzan” rock drop turned Brook Macdonald's world upside down.

A career-changing back injury dangerously close to his spinal cord has placed “The Bulldog” on the start line of a long recovery. Two days after surgery Brook decided that he will return to racing the following season. In spite painfully slow process and pessimistic forecasts of medical professionals, he was back in the start gate in less than 12 months. “The Road Back” is the story about everything that happened in between.
Red Bull Bike


  • 47 1
 Still remember this Pinkbike Fantasy League card from 2019 saying Brook MacDonald strengths is "strength".
Totally make sense now !
  • 37 0
 I'm not crying, you're crying!
  • 3 0
 which one of you jerks is cutting onions again!!!???
  • 1 1
 I'm not crying, I'm not a crier....I work out.
  • 21 0
 While I was in hospital getting used to my wheelchair, Brook was the person I was looking to as the perfect recovery.

Last Christmas I ruptured a blood vessel in my spinal column and that pressed against my spinal cord At L1 for a 25 hours. (At the same height as brooks back)
The pain, uncertainty and terror for your friends and family are al too familiar.
Luckily just as brook, I am managing a full recovery within the normal recovery time window. But we are the lucky few who have the opportunity. Many more who have life changing (permanent) damage to their spinal cord cannot have full function after recovering.

Full credit to Brook, who has had to fight all these battles with mental, fysical and nerval damages. It is absolutely the hardest thing I had to endure in my whole life. So that only shows how resilient Brook is but also how much he loves bikes and racing.

I am still recovering, from the outside it might look al perfect again but there is still a lot that has to come back.

Thank you brook for helping me by showing me what is possible.
  • 17 3
 Sheer f*cking will, let’s go Brook! The most insane recovery I’ve seen in any sport. He put new meaning into his nickname the past year.
  • 12 0
 I watch this and cant help but think about Paul Basagoitia. Every spinal injury is unique, and one small difference can have such a dramatic impact on the outcome. Im so thankful for Brook, and so sad for Paul.
  • 7 0
 100% this, it’s such a small amount between incomplete and complete injuries, from being able to recover to never walking again.
Brook has always been one of my fav riders so absolutely stoked he was able to make a full recovery. Fricken love to see him on the podium this year
  • 14 0
 Should have been narrated by Chuck Norris, his desciple.
  • 12 4
 So stoked for him and his attitude but every case is different and other people didn't have the opportunity he got while keeping the same willingness to recover. A mix of strength and luck I guess.
  • 3 0
 For sure; but he doesn’t have all this support because he’s a shitty person. Makes me want to get back to full speed!

He did have a hard slam at one of the races after this; he really is flirting with disaster, I hope he stays healthy long term!
  • 3 0
 “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

I think Brook is the kind of person that always gets the star in mariokart, because he knows how to drift
  • 2 0
 @housem8d: No doubt! He has more determination than most of us.
  • 13 3
 Book, we are proud of you, the world is proud of you. You set an example.
  • 8 0
 What a comeback story. Imagine if he gets a win this year.
  • 5 0
 the mountain bike world better go off when that happens!
  • 2 0
 I bet he will get a win too! Big Grin
  • 4 0
 As someone who broke their back mountain biking, stories like these are what kept me going. So glad to have him back in the lineup!
  • 4 0
 Inspirational. To come back and get that result is beyond mind-blowing. Yes Bulldog!
  • 2 1
 If someone had shown this surgeon in question how this guy is grabbing life by the horns and beats the shit out of it he never would have said that he don't believe Brook is ever gonna be walking again. What a legend. Don't know you mr. Bulldog but thinking about your story is hugely inspiring!
  • 2 0
 Wow, so much love for life, being out there, biking, racing. And a lot of love in the people around Brook. Let me think how lucky we are to be able to do what we like. Everyday.
  • 4 1
 Incredibe. Max respect and good to see Brook back doing what he clearly loves. Bulldog FTW
  • 3 0
 This is what Inspiration looks like!
  • 3 0
 Yes Brook! Go get it bud!!!!
  • 2 0
 What a beautiful story about human perseverance. Cried and laughed and laugh cried.
  • 3 1
  • 2 0
 Legend. What an inspiration.
  • 2 0
 your favourites biker favourite biker! go brook
  • 2 0
 absolutely fucking amazing. riders gonna ride!
  • 3 1
 2021 year of the Bulldog
  • 2 1
 Occum's Razor really might be "he is not human".
  • 2 0
  • 2 0
 Wow. Just wow. Wow.
  • 2 0
 Bloody Legend!
  • 2 0
 One. Hundred. Percent.

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