Katie Archibald to miss Olympics after freak garden accident

Katie Archibald will miss the Olympics this summer  (PA Wire)
Katie Archibald will miss the Olympics this summer (PA Wire)

Two-time Olympic champion cyclist Katie Archibald will miss Paris 2024 after suffering a double leg break in a freak garden accident.

The 30-year-old Scot fractured a tibia and fibula and dislocated an ankle having tripped over a step in her backyard. She also sustained substantial ligament damage during the incident on Tuesday and has since undergone surgery.

“I tripped over a step in the garden and managed to, somehow, dislocate my ankle; break my tibia and fibula; and rip two ligaments off the bone. What the heck,” wrote Archibald on social media.

“That was on Tuesday, and since then I’ve been in full princess mode (assuming it took a full team of A&E doctors and nurses to get Cinderella’s foot back in line with the slipper 👍). Had surgery yesterday to pin the bones back together and reattach the ligaments. Then hopefully this afternoon I’ll be going home.

“A hundred apologies for what this means for the Olympic team, which I’ve been told won’t involve me. I’m still processing that bit of news, but thought I better confirm it publicly instead of leaving it to the grapevine (trip hazard and all that).”

The Paris Olympics take place between 26 July and 11 August but now won’t involve Archibald, who won team pursuit gold at Rio 2016 and then topped the podium in the madison alongside Laura Kenny at Tokyo 2020.

The likeable Brit has endured a tough couple of years since Tokyo, missing the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after colliding with a vehicle amid a series of injury setbacks, while later that summer, her partner – 37-year-old mountain biker Rab Wardell – died suddenly in bed beside her.

Wardell suffered a cardiac arrest in his sleep just two days after taking victory at the Scottish MTB XC Championships and Archibald revealed how she “tried and tried” to resuscitate him

“I think you’ve heard that Rab died yesterday morning,” she tweeted at the time. “I still don’t understand what’s happened; if this is real; why he’d be taken now – so healthy and happy.

“He went into cardiac arrest while we were lying in bed. I tried and tried, and the paramedics arrived within minutes but his heart stopped and they couldn’t bring him back. Mine stopped with it. I love him so much and need him here with me. I need him here so badly, but he’s gone. I can’t describe this pain.”

In her Instagram post after this week’s surgery, Archibald paid tribute to the medical team that operated on her.

“A hundred thank yous for the fabulous doctors, nurses, radiographers, porters, physios, surgeons and more at the Manchester Royal Infirmary,” she added. “Might be back with more updates, might be gone from the socials for a bit – TBC. Ciao for now. Katie x”.

Additional reporting by PA