591 reportage: Crash saved Niklas' life
Niklas Olsson has had a lot of injuries during his career as a professional freestyle motocross rider. But broken legs, severe brain concussions and broken teeth are nothing compared to the cancer he fought and survived.
In 2002 the young and successful freestyle motocross rider Niklas Olsson, 28, was diagnosed with cancer. After a bad fall in a contest, in which his chest got injured, he went to the hospital for a check up. The x-rays showed several tumours in his lungs.
”I was lucky to have that accident, otherwise, I wouldn't be alive today,” Niklas says. ”The doctors put me under the knife immediately and I began chemotherapy the next day.”
The cancer had already spread to several places in his body. Two tough years with treatments and surgery followed. More than 50 percent of his lungs were taken away.
”Against all odds I left the hospital alive. I had no strength or stamina left but I was slowly starting to get better. And to get up on my bike again was the greatest thing ever, it was the best medicine.”
Now, five years later, after beating his worst competitor, he is doing daring shows all around the globe. He's in for medical examinations every six months and so far everything looks fine. ”The doctors say that I can relax now. The cancer probably won't be returning.”
When he's not on the road he lives with his family in Dalarna, Sweden. And the family tradition continous, Niklas three year old son Adrian is "totally into motorcycles already!" Like Niklas, he will have his first mini-bike on his fourth birthday.
Text and photos © Simon Johansson
English revised by Rhonda Prince