Ken Roczen recounts his miraculous recovery after his horrific wreck at Anaheim

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Ken Roczen gives an inside look at his incredible and lengthy journey back to Supercross after his career-changing crash at Anaheim 2 in 2017.

REPORTER: Well, it was just a little less than a year ago that Ken Roczen suffered a crash felt throughout the racing world. Miraculously, 350 days later, he's back and ready to contend for the title. Please be aware, some images in this next feature may be hard to watch.


NARRATOR: It is a medical miracle that Ken Roczen is ready to race again. It's a heroic testament of the human spirit that he even wants to.

One year ago, Roczen had everything going his way.

KEN ROCZEN (VOICEOVER): Oh, it was great. We had a lot of attention. Me switching to Honda was a pretty big deal. And I was going good at that time, and I was fit, and I was confident.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER 1: Looking like he's all business. The season opener goes to Ken Roczen!

SPORTS ANNOUNCER 2: This is a massive statement.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER 1: Back-to-back victories in 2017!

KEN ROCZEN (VOICEOVER): I did my work. I felt great on the bike. It's a recipe for success in my eyes, so there was really nothing to worry about.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER 1: Oh! Down goes Roczen in a big one!

SPORTS ANNOUNCER 2: See all those ruts, gets a big kick right there, and just slams right into that jump. Right away, he knew he was going over.


KEN ROCZEN (VOICEOVER): I was completely there, I had no concussion. So immediately, the pain I felt was not good. I never really saw the arm, because they kind of kept my head straight and whatnot. But, you know, the first thoughts were all the hard work you put in and all the hype-- new team, new bike. I was expected to win and get championships and there it went.

The next several days are probably best described as pure hell. I compound fractured my radius on my wrist, compounded ulna which is on the outside of the arm, scaphoid that was sand, two of my ligaments on my elbow off, and a dislocated elbow too, sheared off radial head where I needed a cadaver piece. On top of that, I had compartment syndrome, which that was probably the scariest. The arm swells up that much that it cuts off the blood supply. And then your muscle starts dying. That was threatening my arm from possibly getting amputated if we would have waited too long. As it was slowly swelling down, I think they realized how severe the injury was, and that's when things started getting a little bit sideways.

The first four weeks that I was in the hospital, I was so disappointed in myself, I didn't care about dirt bikes, I didn't care about whether I'm going to be able to ride again or not, really. And I was in such a deep hole just from the medication and everything, my body felt completely trashed.

NARRATOR: It took seven months, 11 surgeries, and a lot of love to reconstruct Ken's career.

KEN ROCZEN (VOICEOVER): It was huge for me to take a step outside and walk around a little bit, walk around the yard. I remember taking a blanket, just laying in the grass. Right there and then though, I decided that, OK this can't be it.


SINGER: Ya still gotta keep drivin'. Pushin'.

KEN ROCZEN: You have to commit twice a day, three times a day, every day to do therapy. And that's just 10 minutes. That's an hour and a half in the morning and an hour and a half at night. And you go through a lot of pain. My fingers didn't work, because obviously, everything was cut. So for the longest time, I couldn't even hold a glass of water.

Being on the gate again. It's a huge win. I don't even care what position I'm going to get in Anaheim 1, whether it's a win, a podium, a fifth, it doesn't matter. I was in a really dark place at one point, and being back in the light and racing there, that's more than I could ever ask for.