Dec. 27, 2016 (Ottawa ON) — It is with great sadness that the Canadian cycling community learned that Ellen Watters has suffered critical injuries when she was hit by a motor vehicle while training outside Sussex, N.B., on Dec. 23 – read more here.
Watters’ family has shared the following statement on social media:
I want to thank everyone for the stupendous outpouring of support which have been sent to Ellen Watters, and to our family. The love, strength and joy which Ellen has always shared around her have come rushing right back to her. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support which her family has recieved from dear friends, and from all of the cycling community.
At this time, Ellen is still stable and receiving respiratory support. However, given her injuries and the results of scans and observation over the past few days, we do not anticipate a recovery. This news is truly heartbreaking for me to have to share. Ellen’s incredible strength and tenacity make this all the more difficult to take in.
Please keep Ellen’s vibrancy shining through your memories of her, the joy you share with the world, and every great big laugh you just can’t keep to yourself.
Until we have more news to share, we’d appreciate some space while we try to cope with this news.
Watters has been steadily rising up the ranks since joining the Ottawa-based The Cyclery Racing program in 2014 under the guidance of former national team member Jenny Trew. A former triathlete and a kinesiology graduate, Watters adapted quickly to road cycling and her sunny personality and aggressive racing style has become a fixture at events throughout Canada and the U.S.
The 2016 season was a breakout year for the 28-year-old. She won the Tour of the Battenkill and Tour of Somerville in the U.S., and won bronze in the criterium at the Canadian Road Championships. These results, among others, led to an invitation to take part in her first-ever Canadian National Team project in August. Despite missing some races early in the trip after suffering a minor concussion, she bounced back to victory in a kermesse in Hasdonk, Belgium, on Aug. 18.
Watters’ cycling career has stepped up another level on the cusp of 2017. She signed for the U.S.-based Colavita-Bianchi team at the same time as being invited to be a part-time member of the Canadian women’s development program under national NextGen coach Cameron Jennings.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Watters’ family members with their expenses. Within a day of being launched, the fund has raised more than double its $5,000 goal – a testament to Watters’ popularity – donate here.
“Ellen Watters is only beginning to make her mark on international cycling and we all have been very excited to see how far she will go in the sport,” said Cycling Canada High Performance Director- Head Coach Jacques Landry. “On behalf of the Canadian cycling community, we would like to extend our deepest and utmost support to her family and friends in this difficult time.”