Video: Gee Atherton Shares Recovery Update after the Biggest Crash of his Career

Nov 13, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

After his horror crash in June Gee Atherton has shared his latest injury update as he continues recovery.

bigquotesThis was the biggest crash of my career, and I’ve had a lot of crashes! Rehab and return to sport are always a huge challenge after an injury, add to that multiple major trauma and it makes it one of the biggest challenges any athlete will face in their lifetime.

The extent of my injuries forced me to change up everything when it comes to rehab, create new techniques, and work harder and longer than I ever have done before. It was apparent very early on that the usual routines were not going to be enough this time. We started physio earlier than we have ever done before to give us a better chance of 100% recovery, this is only something you can do with a team around you that you absolutely trust. I’ve worked with Doug Jones at Altius for a long time, he’s pushing me further than I would have dared myself, I know that I can trust him and his team entirely. The enormous amount of support that I’ve had and the huge number of questions about what and how to rehab various injuries has inspired me to put this edit together to showcase what we are currently doing in the recovery process - I hope it’s helpful.
Gee Atherton



135 Comments

  • 105 4
 As some people might know I also got hurt recently (just a week after Gee) and, I'm struggling with my recovery still. Recently it's been getting my down so seeing this is really motivating. Thanks Gee!
  • 8 1
 Stay strong mate. The feeling you get when you're back on the bike is amazing and then all the hard work is worth it. When you're recovering it's very easy to see what you can't do, but when you look back at where you come from then you really start to see the improvement.
  • 3 1
 Well, yes, this is motivating, but in your case , its unfair haha, , you podcast regularly with Olly, that keeps you in the right spirits I guess hahah. Keep it up Davy!
  • 2 22
flag curendero (Nov 13, 2021 at 13:11) (Below Threshold)
 @korev: Is biking better than intercourse?
  • 5 1
 Not sure if I accidentally neg propped you. Didn't mean to. Hope you stay positive.
  • 9 31
flag KK11 (Nov 13, 2021 at 15:05) (Below Threshold)
 It ain’t about you bruh lol
  • 10 1
 Same here, didn't almost kill myself like Gee, but now have ulnar nerve damage that takes forever to heal. Dealing with extensive hand weakness which makes it impossible to ride... Makes me jealous seeing someone like Gee making so much progress. Stoked for him though of course!
  • 8 0
 @curendero: it depends on what you’re riding.
  • 5 1
 @moondustdictator: Don't compare yourself to Gee, compare yourself to how you were.

Are you able to ride a road bike? When I was broken just getting out on two wheels improved my mood no end and when I was allowed to ride my mountain bike again I had a reasonable level of fitness.
  • 3 12
flag moondustdictator (Nov 14, 2021 at 8:19) (Below Threshold)
 @korev: no I cant, and il compare myself to whoever I want.
  • 2 3
 @crazy9: well played sir
  • 52 1
 His recovery “physio” is more intense than my workouts…
  • 25 0
 Could only wish to have that good of an attitude, during that process. Inspirational Gee
  • 19 0
 Takeaway- Get the best physio available to you. Even those of us who are not elite athletes are still athletes. Advocating for yourself and putting the focused work in pays better dividends than another prescription of Norco. Now if I can just get this clavicle to heal faster.
  • 2 0
 ME TOO. Do the homework!
  • 9 0
 And most importantly (I find) : make sure it doens’t happen again. I had a big crash. 3-4 months of rehabilitation. Lots of cancelled holidays en lots of missed lots of trips with my children. But it could have been fatal, so no complaints. Sold the big bike and now (for me) it’s just xc-trail loops. ‘Being the fastest down the hill of a ‘kom’ isn’t worth the risks imo. f*ck that.

Same for Gee; as a fan I absolutely!!! don’t expect them to do this insane stuff !
  • 1 0
 My advice is once the healing starts to look good, don't start exceeding like an idiot. I had a small crack, at the first monthly checkup it looked great and we'll on its way to healing. So I started doing small road rides, end result what could have been a 6-8week recovery lasted 4 months as I was using the shoulder too much (not even proper riding or anything)
  • 1 0
 @JWP: exactly my story too, and the bitterness of missing summer and riding w kids is tempered by the thought "it very easily could have been much worse". I'd be grateful just to do my boring flat xc loops again soon.
  • 1 0
 @JWP: That's a good point. I think 15-20 years ago it was more about who can do the biggest gnarliest hits. But, these days who can tell the most interesting story has equal if not more weight.

However, I think that's hard for any elite athlete to be okay with that approach. It can feel "stagnant".
  • 15 0
 Having a Big One is like falling off a cliff in terms of reduction of fitness and competence.... Ah....he did fall off a cliff. We were on the other side of the valley when Gee had his last Big One and know how aggressive and difficult the ground is. The medical service did a brilliant job in getting him off the hill and quickly to hospital. As you grow older, managed recovery is just so essential...and his advice is bang on. Brilliant stufff...great to see rehabilitation is going so well. Your commitment to climbing the hill back to high performance indeed is inspiring.
  • 13 0
 We have the Technology; we can rebuild him!
  • 9 0
 In my opinion one of the best RedBull athlete. I know they have a strong lineup but for me Gee and Brook are the real fighters. Both of them had big crashes and they managed to get back. Those physiotherapy sessions are insane. I just ended 10 sessions for my back pain and I was thinking how strong can be these athletes both physically and mentally to endure the pain for such a long recovery. The amount of effort at the top is insane that’s the difference between a WC winner and a regular top 20. He is one of the best images for RedBull. I don’t care if he needs to drink or place in his videos the can…at the end of the day RedBull pays the bill and for that Gee made all those videos that are now viral. Can’t wait to see him back at the world cups.
  • 7 0
 Had a fair few horror injuries myself and have always wished I could’ve received this quality of professional physio and rehab sessions that that pro athletes are given, maybe I wouldn’t feel like pure shit every time I wake up in the morning if I had.
  • 4 0
 I've had my second surgery to remove the J-hook that was put in for by shattered clavicle. Doing my PT exercises religiously and starting to see some ROM back. Was actually riding the bike earlier this week but only on paved trails at the park. Seeing the ortho next week for xrays and follow-up, hoping to get some good news and find out when I can get more serious on the bike and work on my mental confidence. Everyone on this thread that is injured, I hope you hang in there and and stay positive and focused to get better! Thanks for the inspiration Gee!
  • 1 0
 Is recovery after the plate removal easier/quicker than the initial surgery to repair the clavicle?
I'm working my PT now and don't have a removal op planned yet, was hoping to get shoulder back to 100% (or close) before that surgery. Kind of can't wait to see this plate and eight screws in my hand as I wake up.
Its XC and gravel from here on out.
  • 8 0
 This man is a beast!
  • 7 1
 As always an absolute inspiration!
  • 7 0
 Absolute legend.
  • 6 0
 Has anyone checked on the mountain to see how it's recovering?
  • 2 0
 When I got injured, I didn't wait for my Doctor to tell me that when or can not do. As soon I was felling ok, I search on the web on what exercise that I can do so that I can get back on my bike. Its really mental, I seen a lot of people go down and felling depress because of this injury. I got friends did not go bike riding there bikes because their afraid to get hurt again. I just don't want that.. biking is my life and working in the hospital and seen all kind of people and learn their mistakes and put it in to my life. fast recovery Gee.
  • 5 0
 Good progress Gee. Hope we see you back in the ring soon.
  • 5 0
 Gee is just badass! Crashes like that retire people early.
  • 1 0
 Nice one Gee, hope when you come back you're riding again for the love of it, I know your heads reward system is beyond what us mere morals can comprehend, but chase the joy. It's always great to see the honest and humble side of mega riders. P. S. hope the hill you hit is recovering well to
  • 1 0
 @megaold: @megaold: Feel better now, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. We'll wait...you haven't posted one link here proving or disproving anything. Your clearly blinded by what ever hatred or bias you have towards others regarding this subject.
As far as the supposed misogynistic joke you think I stood up for, that's cause some ass hats can't take a joke.. it's was a f*cking joke. I personally stand up for people when there speech is attacked. What's even more funny is that you were lurking around for some type of ammo to throw at me from comments you weren't involved with and even one better my wife laughed at the joke...cause it was a joke. Please keep your limited views of speech in canuckastan.
  • 1 0
 As someone who is currently rehabbing from breaking his back (L1 vertebrae), I am totally inspired by this. Every day you push just a bit harder, no matter how small. You'll come back stronger. Heal quickly Gee and thanks for the inspiration!
  • 1 0
 After going 'scorpion' at a pump track back in October and causing a lot of soft tissue damage in my 50 year old arm (elbow and wrist!), this all made a lot of sense. I am only just getting back on my bike. Thanks Gee for taking us through your recovery!
  • 3 0
 I've been injured heavily before as well. His words are so true. Believe, work, appreciate. That is the road to recovery.
  • 1 0
 Big ups G! I'm a physio and have also broken plenty of stuff. Don't underestimate high quality soft-tissue work!! A good myofascial release practitioner is the difference between chronic pain and full function!!
  • 1 0
 Thats why these guys are the best at what they do way beyond a bike the mental strength for a single passion to ride again.peaty hill minnar Brook all super human.gee my man stay rad
  • 2 0
 @HookitProducts: hang in there man. Slow and steady back to recovery and hope you are back on your bike soon.
  • 3 1
 Thanks for sharing, I’ve been injured for 5 weeks now and I find this video very inspirational!!!
You’re a legend!!!
  • 3 0
 Looks like he has also regenerated a dirty 'tache. Good work Gee! Heal up!
  • 3 0
 Very strong mentally and physically, keep up the great work!
  • 1 0
 that was one of the most brutal crashes I ever saw it scared the crap out of me thinking about what Gee might be going through. Dude is a beast the way he carries his scars
  • 2 0
 Turbo boost. Medically speaking.
  • 2 0
 Glad to see Gee recovering! Wish I had a physio like this.
  • 1 0
 Slow and steady beats setback every time. Good on ya, Gee. Can't wait to see you back at it.
  • 2 0
 Great work Gee, thanks for sharing your recovery process
  • 1 0
 @Gee you are awesome, well done for staying so positive and keeping at it. Definitely inspiring stuff for all of us.
  • 2 0
 Terminator! I'm backSmile
  • 1 0
 Recovery needs to do the Gee.
  • 1 0
 Gee looks like he's in better shape now than I ever have been.
  • 1 0
 Bloody legend and top bloke, decent rider too Lol
  • 1 0
 Bones and joints heal but that brain damage doesn't.
  • 1 0
 Hold my beer…
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