Marcin Lewandowski will turn 35 in June. He has been one of the best Polish athletes for a long time. At 800 and 1500 meters he won a bronze medal of the world championship, gold and two silver at the European championships, silver at the indoor world championships, and three indoor championship titles and two European indoor championship titles.
Last year, Lewandowski wanted to win the only medal he lacks in the collection – the Olympic one. He went to Tokyo well prepared, but in the semi-finals of the Olympics he suffered a leg injury, which prevented him from completing the race. It soon turned out that Lewandowski’s life was in danger.
£ ukasz Jachimiak: Paweł Fajdek argues that Lewandowski should not win the “Przegląd Sportowy” plebiscite. What does Lewandowski say to that?
Marcin Lewandowski: Of course, I read what Paweł wrote. And it is certain that Paweł is right, though not necessarily about Robert.
So you would see Robert in the top 10 after all?
– I am not saying that “Lewy” should not win, much less that he should not be in the “ten”. But I would have a hard time picking a winner. Seriously – I do not know if I would indicate Robert, Anita W³odarczyk or Wojtek Nowicki, who won the Olympic gold with every throw in the final competition. Anita won the Olympic gold medal for the third time in her life, it is a fact. But we only account for 2021, not the previous years. Robert did not have such a possibility, but it is known that in the great world of football he did everything he could, broke all records, and won various titles. Wojtek was second to none in the Olympic final. I don’t know who from the three I would choose.
Fajdek, on the other hand, is right when he claims that there are often people high up who should not be among the nominees at all. But I don’t want to throw names, because that’s not the point of teasing someone. Unfortunately, the people who organize the plebiscite admit certain nominations probably because they have to. That it would pay off in the media and in marketing.
Fajdek claims that the plebiscite should be won by W³odarczyk, and many fans probably are not aware that he and Anita do not like each other.
– And it strengthens Paul’s message. He did not write it all out of his nerves that his friend did not win. They are actually not very friendly with Anita. Paweł is simply defending someone who showed a great sports level. But I don’t want to go any further. For me, Robert deserved the title of Athlete of the Year as much as Anita did. The fans’ decision must be respected. And Robert Lewandowski certainly gained popularity after what he had done for Dawid Tomala.
Let us remind you – Tomala auctioned the Olympic gold for PLN 280 thousand, thanks to which Dawid can help sick children. After all, Robert decided to give David his medal.
– Grade! The guy doesn’t have to do that, but he does. He has been helping for a long time and he will probably always help.
You were not among the 20 nominees and you were not at the ball either?
– No, and I’m not drawn to it. In 2021 I won the silver of the European indoor championships, I had a great start in the Diamond League meetings and broke three Polish records, but I did not deserve to be nominated among the 20 best athletes in the country. I didn’t deserve it because I didn’t win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. I get it, I have absolutely no complaints. Our sport is doing really well and it is difficult to be among the best. And since I wasn’t nominated, I didn’t want to go to the ball. Honestly: I’m not really drawn to it. For various reasons.
How much do you like running still? In Tokyo, after an injury in the semi-finals, we asked if you would try to reach the Olympics in Paris and compete for the Olympic medal there, and you said “There is no such possibility. There is no point in deceiving yourself, the fans. and sponsors “. What do you say today?
– Recently my brother gave his first interview after two years. And he said that since I am getting ready for the 2022 season, it will only leave me with 1.5 years to go to Paris. And indeed, if I think about it, I am already working hard and I plan to have a very good year 2022, and at the end of this year I will definitely notice that Paris is not so far away. But I say no anyway. I’m sticking to what I said in Tokyo. We talked hot, I was in excitement after the injury, after the fall, but I was aware of what I was saying. It is not possible for me to go to Paris. As of today, my plan includes only the year 2022. I will defend as many as three medals. At the indoor world championships, vice-championships, at the world championships in the open bronze stadium, and later at the European championships – silver. I am a medalist of all the great events that will take place this year and I am focusing very much on winning the next three medals. I know I can afford it. A year ago I had a life form and I can have it now. What’s next? We’ll see.
Suppose you win three medals. Will you be able to say “thank you, I’m leaving” after something like that? Will your appetite worsen?
– There is no such possibility that I would continue it for the next Olympic Games. I think that at the end of 2022 I will organize a good farewell party. I want to sum up my career in a nice way. We will see what life will bring, but I really couldn’t deceive fans and sponsors that I will reach it until 2024.
So you plan to leave like Adam Ma³ysz, whom you sometimes like to refer to when you talk about patterns. He finished his last season in the World Cup in third place, he brought a bronze medal from the World Cup and said goodbye, although many believed that he would still be successful.
– Yes, I want to thank you in good time. I want you to remember me well. This is the kind of retirement vision a great athlete should have. But the lack of success will not change anything either. I am already satisfied. I really realized that at the Tokyo games. I thought to myself: “Fuck me, I have everything! I am a happy husband, father, friend, I am a very happy man”. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I’m still running because I want to. But I stopped looking at others. And I don’t mind that others stop looking at me. These are the realities. In Tokyo, I was in shape, I could be on top, on top, but I wasn’t, and there were others. We have new champions, new medalists and hardly anyone is looking at me today.
I don’t believe you a bit. I don’t believe you don’t want to show again that you are great. I also do not believe that you did not see Jakob Ingebrigtsen take gold in Tokyo and you did not think that the Norwegian was within your reach, that you fought hard many times.
– It’s true. He won with me at the indoor European Championships in Toruń, but it was only half a second difference. And later in the season I showed that my disposition is growing and that I can win with everyone, including him. A month before the Olympics, I made a terrible Polish record, I broke it by over a second. In Tokyo, I would break this record even more. From the time of 3:30,42 I could have done 3:28 to one hundred percent, and that was the time Ingebrigtsen ran, winning the final [Norweg uzyska³ czas 3:28,32]. But all of this is of little importance. Really. Two days before my first start in Tokyo, I got the news of the death of someone close to me. It is about a young person who had cancer. When I came to you after I fell injured in the Olympic semi-final, you all said I was very unlucky. And I told you that those who lose their lives and health are unlucky, but I am, I love and they love me. So I am lucky. I really didn’t feel disappointed. I remember you being amazed.
You said then: “I strongly believe that this is for something. I don’t know why. But the Shepherd knows and only smiles.”
– And he knew! I’m glad you remember that. I remember it perfectly well. A moment later it turned out that I had a thrombosis in the leg in which I had broken the attachment. The clot was very large and could break off at any time. Then I would die. I didn’t win a medal in Tokyo for which I worked hard, but it is very possible that I won my life. Thanks to an injury in the semi-finals, I did not run any further, being in a state of high danger, which I did not know at the time. Now you can see the sense of this faith, that maybe I don’t know, but “Shepherd knows”.
Is your health okay now?
– Now it is. But I had to be patient for a long time and I had to work very long and hard to get back. I managed to avoid surgery. The torn calf trailer stuck together, grew up. But it took two months. During this time, I was forbidden to do anything. There was no question not only about running, I couldn’t even do push-ups or a belly! The work of the heart had to be very calm all the time, so that the clot in the leg would not break off. For a month and a half, I had to take two injections for the clot to dissipate.
In a leg?
– No, such injections are taken in the abdomen. Nothing like that, a fine needle, no problem. But later it was a pain to get back into shape. I am more and more scared and every year it is more and more difficult for me to enter high speed after the off-season break. Even two weeks off I am so knocked out of impact that it is very hard for me to recover. And now, after two months, it was a torment. The first workouts looked like I would go for a faster walk. 10-minute. Then I was doing myself 10 times for a minute of walking. I came back exhausted. But at this point I am already hard. The form is good now, and it will be really big. I’m about to start a training camp in South Africa. There will be fire in the indoor season!