“I was riding to the beach with my roommates on a scooter and my front wheel hit a rock. I went over the handlebars and unfortunately broke my arm,” Harris said in a statement. “I am currently working on a plan with my coach that is going to work best for me going forward into 2022.”
Harris is far from the first person, or elite swimmer, to have injured themselves while riding a scooter. Recently, Bobby Finke missed the 2019 World University Games as the result of a scooter injury before coming back to win gold in the 800 and 1500 free at the Tokyo Olympics. Jack Hoagland, the defending ACC Swimmer of the Championships, also injured his wrist in a scooter accident late last year.
Perhaps the most infamous scooter injury involving swimmers came in 2011, where a scooter injury hurt both Ryan Lochte and Marco Loughran.
A number of studies have come out showing the risks of using scooters, especially electric scooters. One published in February 2021 in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine based on data from an Austin, Texas hospital found that electric scooters produced an injury rate of 180 injuries/million vehicle miles traveled. That’s as compared to about 1 injury/million vehicle miles traveled in motor vehicles.
In her Olympic debut in Tokyo, Harris swam the second leg on the Australian women’s 4×100m free relay. She split 53.09 as part of a gold medal and World Record-setting performance for the relay.
Harris also earned bronze as a prelims swimmer on the Aussie women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
Leading up to Tokyo, Harris had been training at St. Peters Western under Coach Dean Boxall but, she has since moved to Marion and is now under Kyle Chalmers’ coach Peter Bishop.