COMMONWEALTH GAMES medallist Stephanie Inglis has said she will not return to competitive judo as she continues her recovery from a horrific motorbike crash in Vietnam.
The 28-year-old was initially given just a 1% chance of survival from serious head and neck injuries in the road accident last year.
A crowdfunding campaign raised money to cover the cost of treatment in Thailand and her return to Scotland, where she woke up from a coma in a hospital in Edinburgh, six weeks after the crash.
Ms Inglis, from Daviot, near Inverness, had to learn to walk again but made a remarkable physical recovery and had targeted a return to judo, where she won a silver medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
However, with doctors telling her any head knock in judo could risk her life, Ms Inglis has admitted she will not compete again.
She told BBC Radio Scotland: “I’m struggling to come to terms with it and it’s probably affecting my mental state on top of everything else. I’d always been hopeful I could return to the mat.
“It’s not something I’m choosing to put an end to but my surgeons just highly recommend it’s not the best thing, it’s life threatening if I did re-injure the head.
“At the end of the day, judo is just a sport, I mean it’s been everything to me but I’ve got my whole future ahead of me, and I’m very lucky for that.
“I’m slowly coming to terms with that door maybe being closed in my life.”
Ms Inglis said she “still has a lot to give to the sport” and could go into coaching later.
“It’s hard being around something you love so much when you just want to do it yourself, so I think when I come to terms with that chapter of my life being over I’ll be in a better position to help others and coach the future talent in the Highlands.”
The 28-year-old recently noticed she has lost her sense of smell as a side effect of the Vietnam accident.
Ms Inglis has returned to work two days a week and is on the verge of regaining her driving licence – another goal she set during her recovery.
She told the Kaye Adams programme: “I now need to get insured and take a refresh course.
“I’ve always been goal-driven, that’s what motivates me – working towards competition or selection. To have that away from me now, it’s like ‘what can I find that will motivate me?’
“Driving has been a huge thing. Getting my independence again is important.”
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