Sioux Falls, SD
A 71-year-old Norwegian man is inspiring many in KELOLAND after doing the same in his own country for years. Harald Vik is deaf and blind, but he doesn't let that hold him back. An avid biker, Vik was hit by a car as he and his interpreter were riding to Mitchell this past Friday.
From broken bones to blood transfusions and multiple surgeries, Vik has been through a lot in the past few days.
"After the crash, I was in pain and I felt terrible pain. So I didn't know what happened and what struck us. Now I'm feeling better," Vik said.
At this point in Vik's tandem bike journey with interpreter Torben Loekaas, they were supposed to be with family in Lincoln, Nebraska. Instead, he's recovering at Sanford Health Hospital in Sioux Falls.
A mentor and inspiration to athletes with disabilities back in Norway, Vik has quite the following. When reports of his accident hit the world wide web, many expressed their concern.
"Of course the accident down here spread on the internet quite fast back in Norway and my family were afraid. They didn't know what happened," Vik said.
Vik can stay in touch with friends and family thanks to a special piece of equipment that connects to his iPhone. From reading Facebook posts to the news, the device lets him stay up on current events.
When his crash made headlines, he was able to read about that too.
"You know, I've fell over during bicycle before, fell over during cross country before. I've fell while running before but you always have to get up. So that's what I think this time as well; I have to get up," Vik said.
It's his dream to participate in the New York City Marathon this November. It'll be his 21st time. While he might not be able to run, Vik hopes to build upper body strength and compete using a wheelchair.
"It's very important to try to look at the positive aspects when things are not as good as they could be. So you have to try to see life from different angles. I'm over 70 years old. I don't have time to look at the downsides all the time," Vik said.
Vik was born deaf and completely lost his sight at age 41. He will head back to Norway once his hospital stay is over but he jokes that since he's got American blood inside him after the transfusion, he might have to stick around.