— -- Mountain bike rider Nicholi Rogatkin says it was adrenaline that pushed him to get back on his mountain bike and finish the course after he took a “terrifying” fall down a mountain cliff at a Utah race.
“I remember everything so vividly,” Rogatkin said today on “Good Morning America” of his fall last week at the Red Bull Rampage race. “I remember trying to stop myself and then realizing I wouldn’t be able to stop and then just catching air and falling off the cliff.”
The 19-year-old biker called the fall, which was captured on his helmet camera, the “craziest experience I’ve ever had.”
When Rogatkin landed, he described seeing “loads of blood” dripping from his face but still got back on his feet and began to walk around.
“The medics told me to stay down but I couldn’t help but get up and walk around,” he said. “I knew the adrenaline was running through me but, luckily, I felt like I was OK.”
What Rogatkin did next stunned onlookers at the event and thousands of people have since watched the video online.
“I took a look at my bike and I got up on it and I felt that it was all OK,” Rogatkin said on “GMA.” “I was hungry to finish the run and if I was able to finish it, I knew I was going to get back on that bike and try to finish the run. So as soon as I realized it was a possibility, I got back on the bike and continued.”
Rogatkin says he was “piloted by adrenaline” when he not only finished the course but also successfully completed a canyon gap, which he described as “the scariest jump” he has ever hit.
The mountain biker suffered only what he described as a “mangled face” but said he is otherwise feeling “100 percent OK.”
“I’ve had a worse fall in terms of injuries; you know I’ve ruptured my spleen, I’ve broken my legs. But this is the fall that I got the most lucky on,” he said. “It’s the most terrifying ever.”
Rogatkin said his thoughts are now with Paul Bass, a fellow mountain bike rider who suffered more serious injuries in a crash at the Red Bull Rampage.
“He suffered a horrific crash and, after an intense surgery, he’s on a long road to recovery, so all of our thoughts and prayers are with him, every day and whenever we ride,” Rogatkin said. “Crashes like this, they teach you that just the smallest mistake can result in the worst consequences no matter how good you are on your bike.”