Injuries are part and parcel of an athlete’s existence as we’ve seen this week at Wimbledon and on the Tour de France.
Some sports though carry a much greater risk than others, as anyone who witnessed the crash which put Mark Cavendish out of the Tour will know.
The high speed smash showed the life threatening dangers faced by riders in the toughest cycling event on earth.
Hurtling towards the finish line at 40mph, Cavendish was elbowed by fellow sprinter Peter Sagan, and was thrown violently into the barriers at the side of the road, forcing him to abandon the Tour with a broken shoulder.
The injury was bad enough, but could have been much worse given the speed the fast men travel at. The top cyclists also face serious dangers in training never mind in actual competition.
Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, escaped serious injury when he was rammed on purpose by a motorist in France in May, while Michele Scarponi, the 2011 winner of the Giro d’Italia, was fatally injured when he was hit by a van while training in Italy.
In competition, Chad Young died after a crash in a race in New Mexico and those of us who are two wheel aficionados, still recoil in horror at the memory of Jens Voigt flying over the handlebars at 60mph on the descent of the col du Petit Saint Bernard, in 2009.
Wimbledon may not pose the same level of threat to tennis players as those faced on a 9kg bike, but serious career threatening injury still lurks.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands collapsed this week after slipping on the grass, and needed lengthy on court treatment by paramedics for a very serious knee injury, before being rushed to hospital.
Covering football I’ve seen a good many players injured in situations which immediately set the alarm bells ringing for their safety and career. It’s a horror moment, frozen in time, and immediately you know that the athlete faces a potentially long physical and mental battle to save a career.
Many sports’ folk earn a very good living and are well rewarded, but those rewards can come with serious dangers and risks attached.
* Scottish football’s ability to shoot itself in the foot could only be bettered by a drunken gunslinger in a spaghetti western.
The dire exits of Rangers and St Johnstone from the first round of European competition to part time opposition, shows that we face a battle to restore a once proud football reputation.
Meantime, our game could face a summer and a winter of discontent if it fails to address the issue of trophies and titles won by Rangers while they used Employee Benefits Trusts, (EBTs), to sign players that they couldn’t have afforded without them.
The Supreme Court ruling last week in favour of HMRC over Rangers use of EBTs has seen Aberdeen, Celtic, and Dundee United fans’ groups call for titles won during the period to be stripped from Rangers.
It looks likely that an ongoing bout of trench warfare lies ahead with the reputation of our governing bodies further damaged by the end of it.