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Film Featuring N.B. Cyclist To Screen In Halifax

By Tamara Steele Sep 16, 2022 | 7:33 PM

Emily Rodger of Fredericton is the subject of the film Cadence. Image from Instagram.

A film about a New Brunswick athlete who survived two bike collisions and found a peaceful outlet to deal with her trauma is screening at the Atlantic International Film Festival this weekend.

In 2013, Emily Rodger of Fredericton had just completed her first road race in Arizona and was out riding days later when a vehicle ran a stop sign and struck her.

“I landed head first on the pavement and immediately went unconscious. I had to be airlifted to a trauma hospital in Phoenix,” Rodger said.

After the first crash, Rodger came back strong to compete and win a lot in 2017 when the worst happened.

A car made its way onto the course in France during her last race of the season.

“The thing that I feared the absolute most in my life happened again. I collided with a vehicle,” Rodger said.

She waited in the ditch for 90 minutes before medical help arrived and had a two-hour ambulance ride to reach a hospital.

Nine years after her first crash, Rodger is still dealing with the physical impacts, which include jaw issues and bone loss.

While recuperating from multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury and PTSD, she rediscovered a childhood love for fly-fishing, which she calls therapeutic.

“It was in the moments of fishing or even in those moments of just sitting by the water where I was able to stay really present,” Rodger said.

Rodger now leads fly-flying tours all over the world in places like Belize, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, but she loves to fish at home too.

“My absolute favourite is the Restigouche River at the early season in late May, early June when the big salmon start making their way up the river,” Rodger said.

She recently tried musky fishing on the Saint John River.

Hemmings House Pictures have told Emily’s story in a film called Cadence.

It screens on Saturday afternoon at the Atlantic International Film Festival and also airs on CBC Television.

Rodger said the film came about after a mutual friend connected her with Saint John filmmaker Greg Hemmings, the founder of Hemmings House.

“I was reluctant at first because I kept so much of my story just private,” Rodger said.

She called it a “huge honour and privilege” for the film to be accepted by the Atlantic International Film Festival. The film has prompted hundreds of people to reach out to her after they see it.

“After each film festival, my inbox is flooded with people who have found my story to be inspiring, to be encouraging, to be relatable even if their sport isn’t cycling or fly-fishing,” Rodger said.


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