June 06, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

The Accident and The Athlete

By Megan ODonnell

Darius Robinson got help for his injured cycling coach Ron Stipe during a practice this spring.

On his back, in pain and struggling to breathe, Special Olympics Cabarrus County cycling coach Ron Stipe, could hear athlete Darius Robinson tell a passer-by, “Yes dial those three numbers, 9-1-1.” It was April 13th, Stipe and Robinson’s first outdoor practice in preparation for Robinson’s opportunity to compete in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. The two had spent the better part of an hour working on Robinson’s pacing while taking laps on the service road around Charlotte Motor Speedway. On their last lap, Stipe sailing along at 40-45 miles per hour, turned to see why Darius has fallen off pace with him. Upon looking back at the road, he realized he was in danger. The curb had come up on him too fast and he took a nasty spill. “I remember jumping off the bike because it was borrowed and I didn’t want it ruined. Then I tucked my arm underneath me and landed hard,” said Stipe. “Darius was my angel that day,” he recalled with emotion. “I just got a little too comfortable with new surroundings. He got me help and stayed with me until the ambulance arrived.”

About Megan ODonnell: VP of Communications for Special Olympics North Carolina.
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