Friday , September 30 2022

The first interview with Ryszard Szurkowski after the accident


Ryszard Szurkowski On June 10 he had a serious accident during the Cologne veterans' race. He was hospitalized in a serious condition. – The accident was very serious. Ryszard at the speed of about 40 km / h fell very badly. His vertebrae cracked, his face was broken, distorted – says Krzysztof Kozanecki, a friend of Szurkowski. The face was almost impossible to see. The doctor said he was paralyzed. He has a broken core. I asked the doctor if his kernel is broken or it's all. He said he was crushed. We were hoping it would be good. That if the kernel was not interrupted, then you can fight – says Iwona Arkuszewska-Szurkowska, the athlete's wife. – I want to move, look at my feet, lie, look at my hands and lie – admits Ryszard Szurkowski.

All of Poland lived in the peace races

Ryszard Szurkowski is 72 years old. It's a sporting phenomenon. In his career, he stood on the podium 800 times. He won 500 times. He is a world champion, a silver medalist twice and a four times winner of the Peace Race. – This name should be pronounced, and I say it in figuratively, in capital letters. I dropped my nails when he fought for the World Championship in Barcelona when he won the peace race. I sat on my bike and wanted to be Szurkowski. When I played in the head, I wanted to have one with Szurkowski. He was my idol, "says Tomasz Zimoch, a sports journalist. – All Poland and not only Poland lived in those years with the Peace Race, the most important for so-called amateurs – says Daniel Olbrychski.

Ryszard Szurkowski, 17 years ago, had a personal tragedy. One of his sons died in an attack on the World Trade Center in New York. For 20 years, he has run a bicycle shop with Iwona's wife in the Wola district of Warsaw. Only a few people knew about his tragic accident. Szurkowski did not even tell his friends. – Ryszard Szurkowski is a fighter man, a great man, not just an athlete. It seems he did not want his friends to be deeply sad because he had a dramatic accident – Olbrychski suggests.

"Today I move my finger tomorrow maybe my elbow, the next day after tomorrow maybe with the other hand"

After the accident, Szurkowski did not give up for a moment. – His mental state from the beginning was very good. Her husband struggled. He is a "wobbler", it can be seen throughout his struggle for recovery. From a physical point of view, we see quite high progress. At first, her husband had total paralysis to the left, he did not know his left hand, he did not move his legs. Only after 70 days began to move his toes. Every such progress is happy. This is a stage to win the most important race – says the athlete's wife. Tomasz Zimoch has no doubt that the sporting spirit will help Szurkowski return to his feet. – It's just that, as it has taken us into an amazing space, the way of sports emotions depends so much on us now. We must now be on the path of his race and we must be glad. We have to help him. He can do it, but our help is essential – he says.

Szurkowski suffered two spinal surgery and complicated surgery of the face. He has a quadriplegic paralysis all the time. He was in a rehabilitation hospital in Konstancin-Jeziorna for four months, if his stay ends. – There is a positive thinking. Today I move my finger tomorrow, maybe one centimeter, maybe one day after tomorrow with the other hand and so on. This is for the time being "tomorrow" because it can be in a month or later. You think about it, you do not think about it, "says the athlete. Szurkowski admits he has no claims for an accident. "There are different human tragedies that are probably even worse than mine, you have to live with it, you have to accept it, maybe it's not a race now, because there's no time to race, you have to practice more and more patience, but touching the form can last less than the training of an athlete who begins to be junior or young, and for 7-10 years he has to practice to get the championship, "he explained.

"I think he will return to the bike and everything will be fine"

To run everything, if it works well, you will need some beautiful years. – We are now looking for a specialized clinic that uses modern technology, innovative tools, such as an exoskeleton. These are small steps that will allow them to recover faster. That, thanks to innovative methods, the husband could sit and take the bicycle in a few months – says Iwona Arkuszewska-Szurkowska. Friends of Master Szurkowski have been involved in helping the master and collecting for treatment. – It is known that such rehabilitation costs huge amounts of money. It can be even tens of thousands of zlotys per month. It depends on the clinic. Maybe it will be abroad. We do not know how long it takes to complete this rehabilitation. Maybe it's a month, maybe two, because there are such wonderful remedies. But rather, we think it will be Monday, or maybe two years or more – says Krzysztof Kozanecki.

– I think he'll go back to the bike and everything will be fine. And now you just have to help him – says rider Rafał Majka. – Rysiek is a very good athlete, a character. A man who does not give up. Fortunately, it has such a feature. In sports, you have to believe in victory and Ryszard has always believed. I want them to win this war – says Karol Strasburger, actor, Szurkowski's friend. – This is a combined struggle. Talking about the need to fight alone, but you must have the so-called good souls next to each other to help you mentally. Thinking that we are going on the right path and that training will lead to success. I do not know what will be, but it will be a success – says Szurkowski.

Payments can be made to your account:

Lions Club Poznań Association 1990, ul. Jan Henryka Dąbrowskiego 189, 60-594 Poznań,

Bank PeKaO SA I Poznań branch Account No .: 09 1240 1747 1111 0000 1845 5759 RYSZARD SZURKOWSKI – REHABILITATION

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