refusing to give
up on volleyball return
April 12, 2011 is a date Stacy Sykora will never forget. Even though
she has no recollection of what happened to her it was on this day that
she was involved in a bus accident, which left her future health and
impressive volleyball career in the balance.
Her Brazilian team Volei Futuro were on their way to a play-off match
on an evening of torrential rain when the coach they were travelling
in skidded and flipped over. Sykora was flung to the floor of the bus.
When she was finally pulled clear she was rushed to the hospital and
placed in a medically induced coma as doctors began to treat bleeding
and swelling on the left-side of her brain. Sykora’s injury was by far
the worst, with other passengers suffering broken bones, bumps and
The Beijing silver medallist spent a month in hospital in Brazil and was
later transferred to the US where she spent another two months
receiving treatment and beginning rehabilitation.
The accident, and the days and week leading up to it, are gone from
Sykora’s memory. “I remember absolutely nothing. I don’t remember
about a week before the accident and about a month after the
accident,” Sykora told VolleyWorld. “I was in a hospital in Brazil and
my mother and sister came to visit me and I don’t remember one
second of them being there or one second of being in the hospital.
I remember meeting my friend and my doctor at the airport and I
thought I was going home, but I went directly to the hospital.”
Despite the trauma she returned to training towards the end of her
two months in hospital with the aim of reaching her fourth Olympic
Games at London 2012, even helping Team USA win gold at the
Pan-American Cup. While she pushed herself hard in pursuit of her
It has been two years since US libero, Stacy Sykora was involved in a bus accident that left her in hospital for three months. But with
the worst firmly behind her, she tells VolleyWorld how she’s hoping to give the game one more shot.