Tess Lloyd: From Head Injury to Olympic Contender
Published on May 2nd, 2016
Tess Lloyd’s dream is becoming more of a reality regatta by regatta.
If the young sailor – told by doctors she should never sail again – makes her way onto the Olympic team for Rio with crewmate Caitlin Elks, she will write one of the most remarkable comeback stories in Australian sport in recent years.
Lloyd, who underwent brain surgery after a terrible on water accident in 2012, on Sunday finished top Australian at Sailing World Cup Hyères with crewmate Elks in the new Olympic women’s class, the 49erFX.
“All our results are important right now,’’ Lloyd said. “Everything has been happening really quickly and the last few months we have really been stepping things up.’’
The Rio Olympic hopeful champion was given little chance of ever sailing again when she finally woke from a three-week coma after being struck in the head by a windsurfer as she sailed a 29er skiff in a Queensland regatta.
Just 17 years at the time, for some reason Lloyd never forgot about her love for sailing or how to do it. But others things didn’t come quite as easily with Lloyd needing to learn to walk and talk again during long months of rehabilitation.
“It’s all good now,’’ said Lloyd.
Now, four years after the accident Lloyd and Elks have emerged as major contenders to secure the spot in the new Olympic women’s sailing class in Rio after finishing the majority of regattas they have done over the past year as top Australians.
Prior to Hyères where they finished 16th, the pair were 14th at the European championships with their closest Australian rivals Olivia Price and Eliza Solly in 17th. In Hyères their nearest oppositions from Australia was Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis in 20th.
The 49erFX team to race at the Olympics will be revealed in May.
Source: The Daily Telegraph