Freak injury forces Olympic champ Danson-Bennett to quit hockey
LONDON: Britain's Olympic gold medal-winning former women's hockey captain Alex Danson-Bennett has been forced to retire because of a head injury sustained while laughing at a joke in 2018.The 34-year-old Danson-Bennett, who was part of the...
The 34-year-old Danson-Bennett, who was part of the British team that won hockey gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, had hoped to feature at this year's Tokyo Games.
She has been suffering with long-term concussion since hitting her head against a concrete wall while throwing her head back to laugh at her husband's joke while on holiday in Kenya.
Six weeks after the incident she was rushed to hospital with a suspected bleed, being violently sick and having seizures.
The effects have included a "loss of identity", debilitating headaches, light sensitivity and speech problems.
Although Danson-Bennett returned to training in January, she has decided to hang up her stick having earned 306 international caps and scored a joint-record 115 goals.
"The challenge of returning to play following my head injury is too much, and the risk's too high," she wrote on Instagram.
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• ??Today I retire from International Hockey?? • • After a very difficult 17 months I have come to realise that my priorities have changed and I can no longer be the athlete I have been, so proudly and for so long • The challenge of returning to play following my head injury is too much, and the risks too high • This is not a sad retirement. I have played more games in more tournaments than I could ever have dreamt of. I have made life long friends, travelled the world and loved every single minute of my career • I end my playing days completely content, proud of how I committed every day for 18 years and thankful to have had the most incredible people by my side. I look back and have not one single regret. I lived my dream • There are so many people I must thank • Firstly, my school PE teachers and @altonhockeyclub ; I’ve never forgotten my roots and I will be forever indebted to you for starting me out on this journey • To every teammate I have ever played with. I will never forget the places we travelled, the training that half-killed us, and the pure joy of pulling on a shirt and standing next to you. Medals are amazing, but they mean nothing without the experiences we had in their pursuit • To all the coaches and support staff I have worked with over the years. You truly made me want to be better every day. Thank you for moulding me into the hockey player and person that I have became • To @stevefry789 @englandhockey @gbhockey and everyone that has been in my corner, as a sponsor, hockey player, supporter or volunteer. Thank you, without you none of this would have been possible • To Alex, you were there at the start and are with me at the end, isn’t it funny how life is meant to be ?? • And finally, to my family and friends You have lived every moment with me. You are the centre of my life. I would have nothing without you. Mum and Dad, I owe you everything • You have all inspired me and made me the athlete I became. I learnt, I grew and I gave it everything I had • • • 306 and Out • • Alex. X • • • • • • • #ifyoudonottrywithallyouhaveyouwillneverknow #retirement #thankful #blessed
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"After a long 18 months but a fabulous 18 years in the sport, it's the right time for me to retire.
"My head injury has been life-changing, also in terms of my perspective and things that have happened within my family."
Her sister Claire, a triathlete, was paralysed from the stomach down after colliding with a tractor while riding her bike in August last year.