Grant Lottering, a South African cyclist has a remarkable story to share of courage, perseverance, survival and recovery. Three years ago, he was involved in a cycling accident that nearly cost him his life.
Considered by most, to be a story of astounding recovery and incredible courage, he completed his third Im’possible Tour during August.
Grant Lottering started cycling at the age of 12 and began racing when he was 14 years old. His dream was to cycle in Europe, to race as a professional, which he eventually did in the 80’s. His dreams were almost shattered in 2013 when he was involved in a cycling accident in the Italian Alps, that almost cost him his life.
Lottering’s inspiring story began in 2013 during a 140 kilometres world championship preparation race in Trento, Italy, when he was involved in a cycling accident and crashed straight into a rock embankment.
His heart stopped beating and he was unconscious by the time the medical team arrived.
After he was airlifted to hospital, the medics discovered the extent of his injuries – Collapsed lungs and thorax, 12 rib fractures, compound fractures of his lumber and cervical spine, two fractures of his right femur, multiple fractures of his scapula and clavicle, a crushed shoulder, a fractured sternum, extensive internal bleeding to his abdomen and spleen, ruptured arteries in his neck and right arm, acute respiratory failure and much more.
Lottering spent 8 days in ICU and another 8 days in high care, before he was flown back to South Africa where he spent four months recovering, undergoing no less than six surgeries and close to a 100 rehabilitation sessions. Doctors considered his extensive injuries too severe for him to cycle again.
Lottering, lucky to be alive, promised himself that he would return to finish the race he had started. In 2014 he was back on the bike for the first Im’Possible Tour titled, ‘From Death to the Top of the Alps in One Year.’
The second Im’Possible Tour took place in 2015, in which Lottering became the first South African to attempt to complete a solo, non-stop 420km ultra-endurance ride through the French Alps in 24 hours.
During the Im’Possible Tour III which took place during August 2016, Grant Lottering achieved his goal of riding 1000km through the French Alps in less than 48 hours.
Starting in Frëjus near Cannes in France, he completed the grueling solo, non-stop ride at Les Saises Ski Resort with a ride time of 46 hours 17 minutes and a total lapsed time of 50 hours and 40 minutes. Lottering climbed 20 mountains in this epic journey with a total elevation of 19 410m.
Lottering was allowed eight controlled stops along the route for eating, changing clothes, and getting lights to navigate in the dark. Throughout the ride he was followed by a film crew, two support cars and a support team of nine people.
Lottering rode as a Laureus Ambassador to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sport to nurture and develop underprivileged youth in their communities. Lottering raised over R1.3 million for the foundation. He has become an inspirational figure, addressing audiences world-wide and touching the lives of thousands of people.
“I believe we have all been blessed with unlimited potential. Set your own goals and don’t let others cast doubt on what you know you can achieve. With proper planning, focus, and belief in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to,” Lottering concludes.