GOLLOB'S GREATEST TEST
Thomas Gaszynski saw Tomasz Gollob overcome a two-decade wait for world title glory, but admits his biggest test of all starts now.
15 / 12 / 2017, 11:06
Tomasz Gollob’s manager Thomas Gaszynski saw the Polish great overcome a two-decade wait for FIM Speedway World Championship glory, but admits his biggest test of all starts now.
The Bydgoszcz-born icon suffered serious spinal injuries in a motocross crash at Chelmno on April 23, and was recently discharged from hospital after seven months of determined rehabilitation.
Gollob remains confined to a wheelchair as he begins the next stage of his rehab, but having waited until the age of 39 to win his first world title, his reserves of patience and persistence are vast.
If you take all the challenges he has gone through in the last 30 years in speedway – good and bad – multiply it by X, it won’t be even half of what he’s going to have to go through now.
With his spinal cord intact, albeit badly damaged, Gollob hasn’t given up hope of walking again.
But Gaszynski accepts the biggest test of Gollob’s life will comfortably dwarf any of the challenges he overcame on the track.
He said: “Trust me, waiting for a world title while being physically able is completely different to not being able. It’s a completely different thing.
“If you take all the challenges he has gone through in the last 30 years in speedway – good and bad – multiply it by X, it won’t be even half of what he’s going to have to go through now.”
Gaszynski admits adjusting to his new circumstances is also a real test of Gollob’s resolve.
He said: “For any person who has an accident like this, it’s very difficult, and for someone who is extremely active like Tomek is or was, it’s much more difficult. His life has basically come to a halt.
“Even when he wasn’t doing speedway, he was doing motocross or playing ice hockey in the winter. He was a very active sportsperson – always, constantly. If he wasn’t playing indoor football, it was outdoor football. He was always up and about.
“But since April 23, his life has slowed down dramatically and for now, this is something he has to come to terms with. Of course we’re trying to help him change his life around, come to terms with what has happened and get through this hard stage. It would be hard for anyone, but it’s much harder for someone who is that active.”
Gollob and his followers face an anxious but patient wait as he bids to get back on his feet. But Gaszynski is cautious as he looks to the future.
“The spinal cord has been very badly damaged,” he admitted. “The doctors would be able to explain about that more and I don’t want to go into too much detail. But if it hasn’t been damaged completely, there is always a chance it can recuperate or some of the functions can come back. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to.
“If they come back, the questions are when and then in what percentage will they come back? Will it be complete or incomplete? It’s so hard to say.
“There is also the aspect of when. I have done some of the homework and two of the things you really can’t change in the human body are the brain and the spinal cord.
“You can take 100 people with the same injury and you’ll get 100 different results in terms of what they get back, at what stage and when.”