I would like to take a moment and say congratulations to #43 Caroline Olsen for a great Supersport race (two actually) this past weekend at Barber Motosports Park during the final round of MotoAmerica. The last race, on Sunday, was particularly satisfying as she moved from starting in 19th place to finishing 11th! The previous day’s race was nothing to sneeze at either as she started in 22nd position and moved up to a 17th place finish.
It’s been heart-warming to watch her get back in the groove and it hasn’t been an easy journey. For those who aren’t aware, Caroline had a pretty nasty crash due to brake failure last year at NJMP that landed her in the hospital for a couple of days. Her injuries were rather serious as she described in a press release last year;
“I escaped without serious long-term injuries and I got released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Bruised lungs, a broken collarbone, two broken vertebrae and an overall beat up body were the verdict. Since I’ve got back to Norway, I’ve had an operation on my collarbone and it was discovered that I had a broken fibula just below my right knee.”
As one can imagine it would takelots of physical work to get ready to race again but that wasn’t the hardest part. A crash like this also takes its toll on the rider emotionally. Caroline confirmed this during a brief moment I was able to speak with her at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend.
She and I ran into each other near the Race Control building I stopped her for a minute to let her know how much I have enjoyed watching her progress this year and how pleased I was to see her finish so well on Sunday. Caroline said she is feeling very good about her physical recovery but that the mental one is still a work in progress.
I don’t doubt her words. She does indeed seem to be back at full strength physically and I have no doubt that she will overcome the emotional effects of the crash. I say to all those racing against her next year to keep an eye on Caroline because she’s only going to come back stronger and faster next year.
Have a great off-season, Caroline. We’ll be out there rooting for you in 2019!