In the final round of the Women's Motocross series in Steel City, Pennsylvania, Ashley Fiolek pulled off a feat that had been only performed by comicbook heroes or fictious movie characters. While battling back from a bad start she crashed, felt a pop, remounted her bike and charged to a seventh place finish. The agony on her face as she pulled off the track was tangible as the only indicator of what happened. The medical unit on scene quickly xrayed her shoulder and quickly diagnosed a severly fractured collarbone.
While this may be an unfamiliar injury to some, the collarbone remains the most frequent motorcycle injury (aside from scraped knees and bruised elbows). Athletes in other sporting disciplines also suffer this injury from time to time, most recently Lance Armstrong prior to his return to the Tour de France. The result is a debilitating pain, rendering the associated arm useless. For Ashley, that was not an option, gritting through a pain-filled moto on a rough national track. The points earned there were enough to solidify her second WMA championship.
After surgery on this past Thursday, Ashley is carrying around a metal plate with screws to hold the bones in her shoulder together. She's expected to recover in eight weeks and has set up speaking engagements to fill the time that she will be missing on the bike.