Andrew Lewis: On the Road Back to Rio
Published on May 5th, 2016
At 26 years of age, Andrew Lewis was looking toward competing in his second Olympic Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro. He would be the Laser representative for Trinidad and Tobago, but then Andrew was halted by a near fatal non-sailing accident on the 13th of December 2015.
With multiple fractures to his legs, ribs, face, and a punctured lung, he went from training for the Games to healing for human functions. But with remarkable determination, Andrew got back into the Laser on the 4th of March, and is now on the road back to the Rio Games.
Andrew will face a big test when he competes in the 2016 Laser World Championship on May 12-18 in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with Andrew for an update…
How much training had you done in Rio prior to the accident?
I had my firs training camp in November 2015 and it was at my second camp after one week of training when the accident happened.
How dire was the initial prognosis?
It was pretty much life threatening.
Was there any concern about your initial care?
I was in a public hospital in Brazil and we were initially not sure about the quality of the health care. But after my dad and others close to me assessed the situation, they realized I was in the perfect spot for the treatment I needed.
How long were you in Rio before returning home?
I was checked in to the Brazilian hospital on the 13th of December and on a flight to Trinidad on the 28th of December. When I landed I went straight out of the plane into an Ambulance and straight to the hospital in Trinidad to be checked out after my flight. I spent one night in the hospital and then I went home to my apartment.
Were there stages at which it was believed that your recovery would be limited?
Interesting question. In the hardest of times, all I knew I wanted to do was one-day walk again (broken leg), eat again (face and jaw broken in 9 places) and most importantly breath again (punctured lung).
At what point did it seem that you could recover in time to get back to your Olympic plan?
My father arrived in Brazil 48 hours after the accident, and apparently the first thing I said to him was, “Don’t worry dad, I will be at the start line in Rio.”
What is your current condition?
I feel like I am 100% but when I push my body very hard in training I feel about 90%.
What is needed now to prepare for the Olympics?
My plan is to keep working hard in the gym and in the boat to get back the strength as that’s the only thing missing right now. I will be training a good bit from now and until the Games. I will be training and racing in Mexico, California, and Rio.
What lessons has this experience taught you?
There were three main lessons I learned.
1. All glory to God no matter what!
2. Don’t play with life. I believe that everyone needs to be living every day to the fullest. We all have no idea how long we will be living on planet earth for.
3. In life you can be the most unsuccessful person or the world’d most successful person. It does not matter who you are as we all need each other to get through life. So let us all help one another and make this world a better place day by day.
To support Andrew at gofundme, click here.