Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Champion Status Goes to Those Who Beat the Odds and Refuse to Lie Down

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Champion Status Goes to Those Who Beat the Odds and Refuse to Lie Down

Article excerpt

MENTAL toughness is a prerequisite for success in any high-intensity sporting arena.

That toughness is relative to the particular challenges that are brought to bear on different individuals, and the level of success they attain can be judged on various levels, but the point is you don't have to be a high-profile success story to be a superstar in the mental toughness and achievement rankings.

When Sunshine Coast-based jockey Jason Hoopert crashed to the ground during the running of the second race at Kilcoy in July 2006, his world came crashing down with him.

The list of his physical injuries was severe: one of his arms was broken in two places (it is now held together by a plate), three broken ribs, a punctured lung and, most significant of all, brain trauma Co bleeding on the brain.

The prognosis when he arrived at the hospital was not good. In a critical condition, Hoopert was placed in an induced coma. Thankfully, as has been well documented, that was the worst it got but, as his body began to heal, Hoopert seemingly had to come to terms with several new realities Co one of the most telling being the medical assessment that he would never ride again.

Fast forward to Eagle Farm last Saturday and Mimics, the winner of the fourth race, is brought back to the winner's enclosure.

The jockey dismounts and with glowing pleasure announces, C[pounds sterling]and they told me I would never ride againC[yen].

It was a big day for Jason Hoopert.

C[pounds sterling]That's 31 winners since my comeback. I'm pretty stoked the way things are going,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]Things were pretty serious after the fall and it was a slow recovery. I can't remember how long I was actually in hospital, but I do know I tried to check myself out a few times.C[yen]

Hoopert's motivation in attempting to secure his own release from hospital might have been misguided at the time, but it already showed a steely determination and resolve that was to serve him well in the years of rehabilitation that followed. …

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