Beware of the Bulldog’s Comeback: Brook MacDonald
This video was originally supposed to release in early September but after the crash at Worlds, myself, Shimano and the crew at Anthill Films decided that we should postpone it until I knew more about my injury. I’m now happy to say I’m doing great in my rehabilitation and feeling stronger every day. I’ve been blessed with immeasurable support from fans around the world, the mountain bike community, my friends, my family and my girlfriend Lucy. So many people have sent me messages and well wishes, it really has gotten me inspired to come back to downhill racing sooner and stronger.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. — Brook (Bulldog) MacDonald
For Brook MacDonald, it’s been an eventful few months to say the least. On August 31, 2019 he suffered a devastating crash during a practice run on the World Champs Downhill course at Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. Brook qualified third fastest the day before and was feeling strong for the weekend’s race before getting thrown from his bike on the “La Tarzan” rock drop feature in one of the wooded sections of the track.
“I was just unlucky,” says the 27-year-old New Zealander. “With the wet weather the day before, the track had changed with a root coming out. That put me offline just a little bit and pitched me over the handlebars.”
At the scene, Brook was experiencing intense pain and was unable to feel his legs. After his extraction he was flown to hospital and told by doctors that he had broken two vertebrae and would require immediate surgery. The next day he left the hospital with eight screws and two rods stabilizing his spine.
Now back home in New Zealand and attending daily physiotherapy sessions, the downhill racer who earned his nickname of “The Bulldog” is walking again, spinning on a trainer and growing stronger every day.
“Even though it was the biggest crash of my life, I still look at this as a small bump in the road,” says Brook. “It’s going to take time, but I don’t see any reasons why I can’t make it back to where I was. Getting back on the bike again has been my biggest motivation.”
From the depressing lows of lying in a Canadian hospital bed dealing with insurance paperwork and organizing his flights home to the exhilarating highs of taking his first unassisted steps again, all along Brook has been flooded with messages of support from the world over.
“I still can’t get over how many people have reached out to support me,” says Brook. “And it’s not just mountain bikers, either. People who suffered their own spinal cord injuries have been sharing how they dealt with their own challenges and have been giving me tips on how to make the quickest recovery. There are so many messages… I do struggle to read them all but have tried hard to get through as many as possible. I’m so lucky to have the level of support that I do.”
Brook’s Mondraker bikes have gained some temporary respite from the punishment that he loves to dish out, but it won’t be long before he’s back in the saddle with the same doggedness that earned him a top 10 ranking in World Cup Downhill racing.