Revealed on 3 January 2023
MX2 Grand Prix winner, European Champion and Denmark’s greatest world championship rider for nearly twenty years, Thomas Kjer Olsen, is just not ruling out an MXGP comeback after his Latvian GP accident.
When Thomas Kjer Olsen hit the bounce at Kegums for the 2022 Grand Prix of Latvia in April, the Dane, who turned 25 that very same weekend, was nonetheless one of many ‘riders to look at’ in MXGP and for what was the start of his second time period within the premier class. Olsen ejected from the bike, landed closely on his head, broke his C1 vertebra and was positioned right into a medically induced coma.
Though the previous European Champion was in a position to make an honest restoration and flew to his base in Belgium inside just a few weeks of the accident, his return to a dirtbike has been protracted, eight months after the spill that sarcastically occurred on the scene of his very first MX2 Grand Prix win in 2017 (additionally in 2018 for the second of his 5 profession triumphs).
Olsen not too long ago posted a video of him using the DIGA Procross KTM on his Instagram account however, to the dismay of followers, shortly had so as to add a message that it was pre-crash footage. “I wouldn’t be that quick after eight months away from the bike!” he jokes over the cellphone.
Olsen’s neck fracture and mind harm has meant a gentle however sluggish trajectory to the purpose the place he can think about laps on a motocross observe as soon as extra. Proper now he’s retaining match.
“I’m doing as a lot as I can however my neck is admittedly stiff and it will be a problem to trip for the time being and be relaxed sufficient to stream,” he says. “I’m bodily coaching daily and that’s truly the very best factor after a mind harm; the docs informed me that it was a really optimistic factor that I used to be in such good condition once I crashed.”
Whereas he admits he has been by way of the spectrum of emotion, doubts and willpower that follows a life-changing incident and a career-halting accident, Olsen continues to be undecided about whether or not he can and shall be a prime grand prix rider as soon as once more.
“I’ve been considering rather a lot about it,” he admits. “I need to not less than attempt to see if I can get again in form and get again to hurry and to provide it a go this winter. I need to trip a bit extra and see the way it goes, make small steps. I’m not anxious about my imaginative and prescient or focus when I attempt to trip once more, I’m assured that it’s good. It was a giant query I had for myself however, actually, proper now when I’m biking and doing a little mountain bike I don’t really feel it’s any worse than earlier than. My reflexes are good…I’m simply nonetheless battling the neck.”
It could be straightforward to contextualise Olsen’s crash and predicament alongside his peer Arminas Jasikonis, who suffered a mind harm in a vaguely related spill at Mantova, Italy throughout 2020. The Lithuanian convalesced and made his means again to MXGP however struggled to breed his pace and potential and withdrew from Grand Prix halfway by way of 2022 to take inventory. Nevertheless, Olsen is just not but on the stage the place he can successfully consider his future as a racer, and as a lot as he appreciates the state of his well being the previous Husqvarna star feels upended by the accident.
“Lots of people ask me whether or not I really feel fortunate that I can nonetheless stroll once more…however my view, for the time being, is that I used to be unfortunate,” Thomas affords. “My profession was nonetheless so younger and I nonetheless had rather a lot to attain. I needed to battle to be prime 5 in MXGP and that was my goal. In fact, I’m comfortable I can really feel my legs and every little thing else…but it surely’s troublesome to get up daily and be pleased about that.
“I actually don’t know why I crashed and that scares me a bit,” he provides. “I’ve seen movies and there wasn’t a kicker and I didn’t hit impartial; that’s why I don’t know what truly occurred.”
Olsen is younger sufficient, adequate and hungry sufficient to plot a profession course once more however understandably there are questions over whether or not he can redevelop the potential that noticed him end prime three within the MX2 world championship for 3 years in a row (earlier than small accidents dropped him to sixth in 2020 and sickness prompted a modest MXGP debut time period in 2021). If his competitiveness on a 450 doesn’t re-emerge then ‘TKO’ is contemplating his subsequent strikes.
“For positive I’ve thought rather a lot about what’s going to occur if I can’t get again on a motorbike once more. It’s not a path I’m fully positive about but however maybe one thing in teaching – which I haven’t actually tried but – or engaged on a workforce or staying within the trade ultimately. I’m not prepared to depart this sport and it will be good to see what alternatives there are.”
Phrases: Adam Wheeler
Picture: Ray Archer