Sykora Staying Positive in Recovery

Burleson athlete still dreams of Olympics

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Volleyball player Stacy Sykora poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit on May 15, 2004.

    Olympic volleyball star Stacy Sykora returned to North Texas Thursday night for the first time since she was critically injured in a bus crash in Brazil last April.

    "Every single day I get better, and every day I'm more focused, I guess you can say. And you know, everything happens for a reason.  That's my main thing I say.  Everything happens for a reason.  We don't know why it happened, but it happened.  So everyday, I'm looking positive, positive, positive, and that's all I can do," Sykora told NBCDFW after her plane landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    Sykora suffered a brain injury when the bus that carried her and her Brazilian professional volleyball team crashed during the rain. The women who play for Volei Futuro were on their way to a match when the wreck happened on April 7.

    Sykora's injury was the most severe.  She spent a week in intensive care, then another three weeks in the hospital in Sao Paulo before she was released on May 7.  Sykora returned to the United States to continue outpatient therapy in California.

    She continues recovering under the care of a doctor and trainer for the U.S. Women's team.  Sykora was on the team that won a silver medal in the 2008 games in Beijing, her third Olympics.  She was considered to be a key member of the team as it competes to qualify for the 2012 games.

    Sykora's immediate focus is rehabilitation.  She told NBCDFW she's recovering faster than expected but she's taking one step a time.

    "The Olympics are always a goal and a dream of mine, but really, right now, it's really to get back to a 100 percent Stacy.  Once I get there, then the next goal would be the Olympics."

    Sykora, who turns 34 on June 24,  is back with family in Burleson for a few days while the national team takes a break in training.