08/08/2012 08:26 EDT | Updated 10/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Simon Whitfield Dealing With Broken Collarbone After Bike Crash: Canadian Triathlete

Canada's Simon Whitfield talks to reporters after crashing out of the men's triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Then Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)
LONDON - Simon Whitfield broke his collarbone when he crashed on his bike in Tuesday's Olympic triathlon.

The 37-year-old from Victoria said via Twitter that it's a "small break, not displaced."

Whitfield was forced to drop out of Tuesday's race after he crashed spectacularly in a freak accident early in the bike leg.

In addition to the broken collarbone, Whitfield needed stitches in his big toe. He said his knees and shins were also banged up in the crash.

Whitfield, the Olympic champion in 2000 and silver medallist in 2008, was considered a medal longshot in London. He was Canada's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden, who won a silver medal Wednesday, said Whitfield had planned to come see him race but had to instead have an X-ray.

"I was crying (Tuesday)," van Koeverden said of watching the race. "I was allowing myself to cry, because it was a healthy expression of emotions. I didn't really cry until I saw a picture of (daughter) Pippa and (wife) Jennie. Because I know them both really well and Jennie is the stalwart of that family. She holds everything down and she does so much work.

"Simon's run, bike, swim and Jennie's like diapers, laundry, daycare, cooking."

A tear ran down van Koeverden's face as he was speaking.

Van Koeverden wanted to honour Whitfield, who had put van Koeverden's name on his handlebars, by putting the triathlete's name on his boat for the final.

"I didn't have marker so I just wrote it with my finger on my (boat) deck," van Koeverden said at the canoe-kayak venue outside of Windsor.

"And I thought this one's for the Whitfield legacy."

Van Koeverden had had high hopes for Whitfield's chances in the triathlon.

"He deserved more (Tuesday). He would have run with those guys, I'm certain," he said.

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