Christmas 2003. „We were coming back to Camp Babylon. A few kilometers behind, we got trapped in an ambush”, recalls Master Corporal Wysocki, a soldier of the 4th Anti-Aircraft Regiment in Czerwieńsk, which during the 1st rotation of Polish Military Contingent in Iraq was in reconnaissance company. Under his Honker truck IED exploded, and at the same time the vehicle was shelled from anti-tank grenade launcher and a machine gun.
Włodzimierz was hit in both of his legs and his abdomen. His condition was critical when he was being operated in Babylon hospital. Then, there were another operations and another hospitals: in Baghdad, Ramstein, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz and Warsaw.
He was transferred to military reserve with category D. Of his active service reminded him his medals, e.g. the Military Cross awarded for gallantry. “I went through ten years of treatment to cure my wounds, and during this time a thought of returning to active service never left me. Slowly, I was beginning to hope I would be able to walk again,” he confesses. Today, he is in active service as an NCO in the Operational Command of the Branches of the Armed Forces.
As it turned out, his right foot would never be fully fit. He was not able to run, which meant no football playing for him. He changed his discipline. “When I rode my bike, nobody would even notice my disability. With time I realized I am no different than others, and the thought was making me mentally stronger,” he recalls. A the end of August 2018, he joined the competition in the Polish National Road Cycling Race Championship for Uniformed Services. He considers it his success he could be a rival to people with no physical disabilities. “If I met them at the football field, I would be chanceless, but on the bike I can race all the way through,” he says.
He went on the mountain bike ride, and with every uphill road he was becoming stronger. It took a lot of effort and stamina, but it was good for his legs. “When you’re looking down from the mountain top, you realize how much effort it takes to get there.”
In the Invictus Games, Włodzimierz wants to proudly represent Poland. For him, being in this competition is “the tribute to those who offered to their Fatherland their most precious gift, becoming the invincible of their times”. He admits that sporting competition is a great challenge to him. He took this challenge because it is good to have new goals. “In order to reach them, you have to build your stairway to success, and take one step at a time,” he claims. He would like to dedicate his participation in the game to his seriously ill parents. He wants to show them that “he can”, and despite his various health problems remains a soldier – the invincible one who never gives up. “I am the Olympian of Life winning my own Olympics each and every day,” he says.
Health impairment: 60%
Missions: PMC Iraq 1st rotation
Discipline: sitting volleyball, archery, road bicycle racing
autor zdjęć: Michał Niwicz