Updates at the end of the post
Felipe Malaga Miglio is the top Peruvian rider and number 6 in the world according to the 2012 IGSA rankings. He’s had an extraordinary year, traveling far and wide in wholehearted efforts to represent his country in downhill skateboarding. He has been bombing the hills of Peru since the very birth of it, and has always had that competitive yet humble attitude that everyone so admires. Felipe has never lost his cool in the most heated of moments, and lives up to the respectful stature that he has created for himself. A true sportsman and a great representative for his country in this harsh and unforgiving sport.
Felipe traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to compete in the last race of the 2012 IGSA circuit, Hot Heels. This race course is infamous for it’s high velocity, curvy and narrow road. Great tragedy has been had in this event once before, the death of a competitor. In 2004, Lloyd McPherson, a young rider from South Africa died during the competition. It was an unexpected, freak accident that cast a shadow over the entire community and will never be forgotten. They named the section where he went off the road after him: “Lloyd’s Left”. This is the most dangerous section of the course. It’s a deceivingly fast, narrow and tight left sweeper that has claimed the skin and bones of many, and the life of one.
Felipe made it to the second heat of the semi-finals on Sunday and went down hard on Lloyd’s Left. It isn’t very clear as to what exactly happened, but spectators claim to have seen him clip the side of a hay bail which sent him out spinning, hitting and whip lashing his head multiple times against the tarmac. He was unconscious when they took him to the hospital and they had to induce him into a coma to be able to operate on his head that same night to relieve pressure from his swollen brain. He is being treated by one of the top neurosurgeons in Cape Town. They say it was a very risky surgery, but it looks like it went well. He is stable and last night was showing signs of mobility in his hands and was opening his eyes. His girlfriend, Carolina was with him. Felipe is hospitalized in the Vergelegen Medi Clinic in Somerset West, 15 min from Kogelberg.
It is so heartwarming to see so many people in the skate community show their concerns for a fallen comrade. His Facebook page is blown up with well wishes and positivity. Last night, the riders in Lima gathered at one of their regular skate spots to light candles and pray for Felipe’s recovery together. Let’s keep up the good spirits for our buddy, and hope for a speedy and irrevocable recovery.
His family is accepting donations for the costs of hospital bills in Cape Town. The information as to where to send the donations is described below.
Translation: Our friend and national champion of downhill skateboarding suffered a serious accident representing Peru in the world cup race in South Africa and he needs our support. To collaborate, please send your donations to Cta. Banco Interbank (in Peruvian currency – Soles) acct#: 041-3040299499 to the name of Anthony Leveau Ramirez. Felipe would do the same for any one of us. Thank you!!!
Update (Dec. 17th 2012):
Felipe is still in the ICU. Doctors tried to wake him for a second time on Friday but were unable to do so since a lung infection was preventing him from breathing. However, there is more color in his face and he has passed some tests. They plan on trying to wake him again today or tomorrow. Once awake, they can begin doing tests on his brain. Previous information stating that his family had flown out on Sunday was incorrect. His sister and girlfriend are currently there, and his brother will arrive in two days. SAGRA has created an easier way to donate by creating a page for Felipe that includes Paypal.
Thanks to Benjamin Malherbe for the update.