Two days before being crowned the 2022 T&T Olympic Committee (T&TOC) Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year, T&T’s top international woman’s cyclist Teniel Campbell shared her 2022 season with her fans and supporters via her Facebook account.
Campbell, 25, who secured her second top TTOC award after her first triumph in 2020 said, “I worked extremely hard during the off-season and pre-season with some targets in mind. Got knocked down once—bruised ribs, Achilles bursitis and a whiplash. Got knocked down again—shattered teeth, Ciao Flanders, welcomed a massive gum abscess during the process, tooth extraction and several needles to the gum.”
The Hardbargain, Village, Williamsville native, enjoyed a productive and action-packed season in which she won gold (Points Race), silver (Individual Pursuit), and bronze (Elimination Race) at the Elite Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Lima, Peru in 2022 continued, “Third time, knocked out; biggest injury to date and a massive mountain ahead of me to climb. I remembered properly mapping out an off-season Game Plan prior to this event towards a 2023 desire.
A member of TeamBikeExchange-Jayco Campbell was a tenth-placed finisher in the tenth and final stage of the 2022 Giro d’Italia Donne, the most prestigious stage race in women’s road cycling for 83rd spot overall. She added, “In what felt like a snap of a finger my world just collapsed Infront of me during my last race of the season with the national team. I was not in pain. I sat on the ground and I felt nothing besides a ‘rage’.
“I looked down, anxiety is now rushing, Tinto is shouting ‘get up’ and I’m screaming ‘I can’t, it’s bad, it’s bad.’
“He sees the big gash across my knee, I’m now looking away wanting to vomit but trying not to pass out. “MEDIC, MEDIC. Someone call the medic.”
Campbell who also placed sixth in the Birmingham, England during the Commonwealth Games in the Road Race event in a bunch finish, and seventh in the Time Trial said: “I can openly write a short story on this traumatic experience; IT WAS GRUESOME!
“One in which I cried, more in fear than in pain. To this day I have no idea how I was able to keep my composure and quickly accept the situation. I did things to stall my thoughts, to prevent my mind from being overwhelmed and from overthinking. I accepted the backlash and the comments; it is what it is. I will forgive but I will never forget. Zero tears were shed until I was told “you are 6-8 months out.” The first thing my mind ran to was Paris 2024. No, No and No.”
The double gold medallist at the T&T’s Cycling Federation National Championships, in the Road Race and Time Trial events, as well as gold in the Time Trial at the Elite Caribbean Road Championships in the Dominican Republic before suffering a fall in the women’s Road Race in October, concluded, “That’s when you weigh the options. When the walls start closing in and you simply cannot decipher, how the hell am I going to get back up on time. I sit here realising that I crossed off my family, I crossed off life and everything was left in God’s hands in an attempt to continue a path of building a legacy. To live a dream.
Why is this so important? I have absolutely no clue but it has to be part of God’s plans and purpose for me in this life because I still do not know ‘How.’
Every phase of this recovery protocol has had its own challenges but it has also been an eye-opener to the things I have been ignoring.
Step by step, we are rebuilding the foundation. To my concerned supporters, I am doing okay both mentally and physically. Sometimes I stumble at the start of a new training cycle and it takes a day to adjust but I am okay.”
See you on the roads in 2023.