Paul Goodison fighting the pain
Something was up when Paul Goodison came off the water yesterday and shot through the press 'mix zone' outside of the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy without speaking to anyone. Presumably it was more than the British defending Olympic gold medallist posting a disappointing 11-20 that left him 17th overall.
It subsequently transpired that the British Laser ace had been struck down with some intense back pain at the beginning of yesterday's second race and on getting ashore had had to shoot off directly to the physios to get himself sorted out.
While he was given a clean bill of health last night, he was suffering again in today's first race, but between races was given some pain killers and then, in a demonstration of his potential, proceeded to post a second in race four of the series this afternoon.
"The physios did quite a lot of work last night to get me back out there," said Goodison when he got ashore this afternoon, still in pain, his eyes wet with tears. "They did an amazing job, because I couldn’t bend down past my knees last night. This first race I struggled - I was trying to push as hard as I could, but it was hurting quite a lot. The biggest thing when you are hurting that much is your brain doesn’t quite work right and you don’t make the decisions that you should be doing. So I think the decision-making was affected quite a lot."
Goodison added that with the pills he had been able to push through to gain a second but it had also helped that the breeze had dropped off a little. "There wasn’t quite so much pressure on the body. Hopefully the physios who did such an amazing job last night they can patch me up again and get me back out tomorrow and then we look forward to the rest day." Layday for the Lasers is on Thursday.
"The biggest problem is just trying to focus on what you are doing when the pain is in front of your mind," Goodison continued. "It is hard to make the decisions right when your mind is elsewhere. So I am a bit disappointed but we are still in there and we’ll have to keep picking away."
To put in a second place finish in today's last race despite the pain was an exceptional performance. "To do that in the circumstances was good, but we need to continue doing more of that. You only get one chance to do this every four years and you have got to do whatever it takes," said the brave lad from Rotherham.
Coming ashore tonight Goodison was heading straight back to the physios again. "I was hoping it would be a quick fix and would go away but unfortunately not. So we have got to do a similar thing tonight to what we did last night to get back in one piece.
"For sure, I am in a lot of trouble. Until this is fixed you can’t really fire on all cylinders and unless you deliver you very best it is going to be hard to win. I’ve just got to keep on ticking away and give myself a chance to get better later on."
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