In 2016, Bastien Murith won the Swiss Junior Championships Ski Cross. But then, everything turned out differently: in the summer of 2018, the young athlete from Fribourg dives into the lake and hits the bottom headfirst. Since then, he is in a wheelchair. A fate many would grow desperate, unlike Bastien who only got stronger. Today, the 24-year-old works part time for Swiss Ski – and is 1000% on his goal to get back on his feet – quite literally.
On May 3rd, Bastien will attend the Wings for Life World Run in Zug as ambassador.
Bastien, when did you first hear about the Wings for Life World Run?
That’s a long time ago. I always thought that the event, and especially its purpose, was absolutely dope. But I always had other things going on – competitions, vacations, whatever. Last year I attended it for the first time.
It was amazing! My goal was to do 5k, maybe 10. And then I did 22k! I was totally worn out, emptied out, but so, so happy. Especially because I had many friends who supported me.
You once said that your life today is better than prior to your accident.
It is true for many things, yes. As an athlete, you always give a 100%, even though you manage to achieve some goals, it always takes a lot of time and you always have setbacks. Today, I work differently with and on my body. My luck is that my spinal cord is not entirely severed, but contused. Which means that my injury can essentially heal. I make progress every day.
You also work very hard for it.
Twice a week, I go to physical therapy, but I also exercise alone every day. I’m a fighter, and I know that I can reach my goals. Every time I reach an intermediate goal, a new one is already waiting. I keep on pushing. I set no limits, only goals. The race is only over once you’re dead.
Do you have any idea how long it will take until you will be able to walk again?
At the beginning the doctors told me it could take months. Meanwhile it’s been one year and a half. However, at the beginning, I was paralysed from the neck down, today, I can feel my feet. If it takes a bit longer, so be it. But I’m making progress. Today, I have the body I have and I constantly work on having a healthier body tomorrow. Tomorrow, we will know more.
What would you tell someone who is in a similar situation as you?
I’d say: don’t put yourself limits. Set goals. Don’t believe in the limits that seem to be there at first glance. Only believe in your goals.
What are your goals at this year’s Wings for Life World Run?
My goal is to make this event better known in Romandie. There will be even more friends present than last year. I don’t know yet, if I’ll break my 22k record – I will definitively try.