I heard from a source VERY close to the team that RU$$ELL had no health insurance, and has been extremely depressed psychologically the last few months...so this "comeback" is really about his finances (his racing has always seemed to be about that if we're being honest here), and his mental health. This is all he knows how to do- otherwise he'd be back in a paper factory in Georgia, which is where he was before racing! Get well Scott!
According to Cycle News, and Scott's Screaming Chief website, he went back into the hospital on the 22nd with a lump on his arm. His bone graft in his arm developed an infection, and they had to open it up to clean it out. Hopefully he will take it easy and let the infection heal, despite how eager he is to get back on a bike. Doesn't look like he will go to Colorado to ride, and he may not make Virginia. Tough break for Scotty.
Scott has a small amount of medical insurance, unfortunately the bills to date total almost $300,000 which far exceeds his coverage. So unless you and your SOURCE are offering to pay the balance, I'd say it's really none of your concern. And, yes he most certainly has been depressed, but not about his financial situation. With the amount of physical trama he endured, emotional trama was sure to follow. Dealing with the fact that his injuries were quite possibly forcing him into retirement, he went through a very difficult period. It was like someone had died in our home. Scott loves racing, he always has, he always will THAT will never change. He started racing (MX) at 12, then (RR) at 22. The misconseptions that he has only cared about the financial rewards of this sport are ludicrous. Scott worked hard at that plastic bag (not paper) factory so that he could afford to go racing. He rode the same bike to work that he raced with...hoping to place high enough to win contingency and prize money, so that he could afford to race the following weekend. So it turns out that he has this God given natural ability, shouldn't we all be so lucky. So I ask...if you could do what you loved AND be paid for it, would you not take advantage of it? With jobs this dangerous, shouldn't all the riders be well compensated? And, to blow another hole in your theory, his contract this year was very minimal. It was a new team that he believed in, and it felt like a golden opportunity to prove that he could still win and that it wasn't about the money. He never got the chance to prove that though. Also, he could have very easily layed around and collected his long term disability insurance which is far more lucrative than one of his contracts, yet he wants to ride no matter what. Scott told me, when he made the decision to ride again, that he didn't want his last ride to be in an ambulance. How could anybody find fault with that! Sheri Russell
Thank you very much for for your kind words towards Scott's recovery and return to racing. It has been a dream realized for him.
You pose this question :
What would I have people think about dollar signs? Scott has had flashy suits since 1991 when he and Troy Lee became good friends. Troy is an artist and designed the suit with the notion in mind that Scott winning was like money in the bank, you could bet on it.
I can promise you that he, as I am sure is the case with most riders, did not get into this sport to reap the monetary rewards. They love riding and enjoy the competition. It just turns out that nowadays it can be lucrative as well, which if you have been following this sport for quite a while, you know that this has not always been the case. Scott actually paid for his first 3 rides, and as his skill level and results continued to increase his salary followed suit. This should be a natural progression in any field. (I realize that it is not) You are correct, it is not an inherent rite, it is a priviledge reserved for the best in the sport. Nor do I dismiss your reference to others working for the greater good of society, their financial earnings should far exceed those of sports professionals. However, my comments were directed toward Scott and the others out there involved within this industry.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support. These are the things that have sustained us throughout this difficult time.
I will pass your message to Scott this afternoon. It's funny how he is genuinely blow away each time I tell him that I received a message like yours. He can not believe how many people out there care about his progress and return to the track. He's really not a bad guy, I promise!
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