When popping the Prosecco bottle, watch out for the cork since it may change the trajectory of your life.
Biniam Girmay, a 22-year-old Eritrean cyclist at the Giro d’Italia, had to retire early after injuring himself during the victory celebrations on stage at a grand tour. He was the first Black African to take home the win during the 10th stage of the competition in Jesi, Italy.
The celebrations were short-lived. When Girmay popped a Prosecco cork into his left eye on the podium, he had to be rushed to the local hospital to get medical assistance for his injury.
Test results confirmed that Girmay had a hemorrhage in his eye. Doctors recommended that he step back to rest and recover to minimize the risk of further damage.
Valerio Piva, Girmay’s team director said: “It is of course a pity to lose an element like Biniam, but the advice of the medical team is clear and the health of Biniam is our priority.”
The celebrations continued when he returned home from the hospital. He got a chance to share the victory with his Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux teammates.
Girmay expressed his mixed bag of emotions: “I’m also happy now. I was a bit sad about what happened with the champagne but when I come back to the hotel they were super happy also.”
Athletes face many struggles in their triumph to victory, but this struggle is unique. The Prosecco bottle caused more damage than the sport of cycling.
In the future, someone else can take one for the team and pop the bottle in his honor.