James Newbury’s 2020 CrossFit Open has come to a close. Over the weekend, Newbury crashed his bike, causing him to break his T-Spine 2 and 3 processes and his 7th and 8th rib.
Newbury shared the news on Instagram where he said he was riding his bike around a curve down a hill when his front tire slipped on some loose rocks causing him to flip over the handlebars. He crashed into a tree headfirst followed by hitting his back on a branch.
The injury, while serious, is not the end of his 2020 CrossFit Games season. According to Newbury, the doctor told him that “if you are going to break your back you’ve done it the best way possible for a speedy recovery.”
So while Newbury won’t be able to qualify as the National Champion of Australia or via the “Top 20”, Newbury will attempt to rehab from this injury and earn an invite via one of the 28 Sanctionals this season.
Last year, Newbury earned his invite to the CrossFit Games by winning the Australian CrossFit Championship. He would go on to have his best finish at the Games where he finished 5th overall and would earn the “Most Improved” award.
Read Newbury’s full statement:
“Not the most ideal place to spend your 29th. I’ve been holding out the last couple days mentioning anything but figured I might as well “break” the news and I’ll preface it with “I am fine” 😊 Over the weekend I had a freak accident coming off a mountain Bike awkwardly head first into a tree, yes not the fastest way down the mountain that’s for sure. I’ve come away lucky with only a handful of breaks through T-Spine 2 & 3 processes and 7+8th rib. I also coped a gash in the left lung leaving it a little worse for wear leaking some air. This is NOT he end of the world nor is it the end of my season, it’s just a minor inconvenience that will need some attention. The doctor said “If you are going to break you back you’ve done it the best way possible for a speedy recovery” so this gives me confidence. How it happened I’m sure is the big question and the basic answer is I just fell awkwardly. I came around a corner not at a crazy speed and washed out the front wheel on some loose rocks, locked onto the breaks and went over the handle bars hitting the base of the tree with my head. Then I flipped and my mid back jarred a protruding branch. Luckily I was wearing a darn good helmet because the docs said it 100% saved me. Now I know I’ll get asked why did I put myself if a situation where I could get hurt with the season upon us? My answer is I don’t regret anything. If I wrap myself in cotton wool and deprive myself of things I enjoy then none of it is worth it for me. I need to be happy and I need to be sharing exciting experiences with loved ones for me to stay focused in other areas of my life and that’s exactly what I was doing. This is life! I’ll now be “working IN” as much as possible to allow the bones to heal well so I can get back to another thing I love which is training and competing (yes for the 2020 season). Thanks to my mates for helping me get back down the mountain and the docs and nurses for looking after me (even when you make me use the slide board to change beds 😩) and @kaylabanfield for sticking by my bed the last days! I’ll keep you guys updated PS I will NOT be redoing 20.3 #shellberight”