Video: The Comeback - Documentary

Nov 30, 2012 at 15:00
Nov 30, 2012
by António Abreu  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Views: 25,067    Faves: 157    Comments: 6


A sport where glory and victory are directly connected to failure and injuries. This is the story of Emanuel Pombo, a World Cup downhill racer from Madeira Island, Portugal. Emanuel has been racing the World Cup series for almost 8 years, but in August 2010, Val di Sole, Italy, he crashed and injured his back.

The prognostic was reserved, and friends and family weren't sure about how life would be for Emanuel in the upcoming months. In Emanuel's words, "It’s amazing how, in just a heartbeat, a mistake can change our life forever".

 The Comeback is a documentary produced by MADproductions with the portuguese downhill rider Emanuel Pombo.

“One in one thousand avoid the wheelchair, and you were one of them” were the words spoken by the Portuguese doctor who treated Emanuel back in Porto. His words changed Emanuel's way of thinking as well as his attitude towards life. He was one of the very lucky few that escaped paralysis. However, he ultimately learnt that this was the price he would have to pay to do what he loves most in life.

For four months, Emanuel went through extensive physiotherapy sessions as well as many trips to doctor's appointments. He also took on some of the toughest gym work he's ever done. Though he knew it was necessary and that he wouldn't give up on his dream, being able to ride again. For a while, Emanuel felt it was like starting from scratch, as he had to learn the most basic of movements as well as lead a radically different lifestyle, including wearing a vest that kept his torso from moving for eight weeks. Those that have met Emanuel know of his extreme willpower, incredible drive and above all, his true professionalism. Though he will tell you that it also thanks to riding, as well as his home, and the friends and family that come with it, that have helped develop into the man and the athlete he is today. Getting back on a bike largely increased Emanuel's motivation. He was relieved and thrilled to go back to his town of Ponta do Pargo, in Madeira Island, to see his friends and family, as well as to get his first pedal strokes in on his all-mountain bike.

 The Comeback is a documentary produced by MADproductions with the portuguese downhill rider Emanuel Pombo.

A few of the reasons why MADproductions got together with Emanuel to develop this documentary, was to give him the strength and motivated he needed to get through his tough recovery process. He was also able to keep track of his progress, allowing him to reflect on what he had been achieving throughout his path to full recovery.

 The Comeback is a documentary produced by MADproductions with the portuguese downhill rider Emanuel Pombo.

The extra motivation, as well as Emanuel's success throughout the 2010 season, made him hungry to get back on his bike and ride faster than ever. His objective was to come back stronger than before - improve his international ranking, as well as repeat his national championship win. The highlight of his following season was his remarkable 25th place at the worlds in Champéry, in some of the most difficult and technical terrain any biker has ridden.

Madeira Island has a special place in Emanuel's heart, as it was in the mountains in his "backyard" that he, and his brother Daniel, started building and riding their first trails. It was crucial for him to go back to his riding roots after recovering from his injury, to find the mental edge and confidence he once had. By building new lines on the hills he rode 15 years ago helped him increase his speed and allowed him to have some of the most fun he'd had on a bike in a long time.

The Comeback project and documentary was a big success, even at a national level! Both António, the brains behind MADproductions, and Emanuel found themselves giving interviews for regional and national tv, as well as local and national newspapers. The video was shared hundreds of times on Facebook and other websites, and was a big hit among the Portuguese biking community.

Most importantly, Emanuel Pombo achieved his ultimate goal: full physical and mental recovery, and the big smile that comes with the joy of being able to ride a bike. His remarkable story has inspired and taught many lessons on determination, belief and happiness!

 The Comeback is a documentary produced by MADproductions with the portuguese downhill rider Emanuel Pombo.

It was an amazing journey for the whole MADproductions crew, as well as the Pombo family. MADproductions would especially like to thank: Tiago Caetano, Andre Caetano, Andrew Talas, Patrick Talas, Daniel Pombo, Ana Ribeiro Torres, Gonçalo Soares, Francisco Pardal, Rui Amador, Bela Machado, Diogo Andrade, Rita Olim, Filipe Sousa, João Silva, Laura Machado, Rafael Rodrigues, Carlos Castro, Dr. José Vilarinho, Vitor Santos, Tiago Aragão and Frederico Pereira.

Thanks to our sponsors, Specialized, Kenny and Yubo.

Produced by Antonio Abreu], MADproductions
Translation by Laura Machado
Words by Andrew Talas
Photos by Joao Silva and Antonio Abreu
Must Read This Week









57 Comments

  • + 33
 Thank you so much Pinkbike for sharing the MADproductions and Emanuel story. It really means a lot to us. It was a hard battle but we made it ! For more information and to support the crew and riders please join us in facebook www.facebook.com/themadproductions
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Just insane how he gets on that riding level after such a hard crash - Respect!
  • + 17
 Incredible story, tons of respect and hope he rides fast and hard without injury in the coming years.

He is very lucky in the end on how it only took 2 months to 4 months to recover. There are people who take up to a year just to fully walk on their own, unsupported. Just shows that injuries are no joke. Not to mention, with a sport that requires absolute speed/competition/pushing hard there's a very very thin line between succeeding and injury or even death.

What I'm curious about is the psychological part. Knowing you got hurt that bad is gonna stick with you for the rest of your life. No matter how well you come to terms with it, that traumatic injury is going to sit in back of your head/subconscious and possibly dictate your future career by holding you back in fear of reliving the injury.

Who can honestly 100% push themselves out there knowing you were only injured half a year ago? That's the incredible part. Overcoming that basic human nature to step away and keep on going forward.
  • + 13
 Great documentary, not sure about the captions tho, could have a small black outline so that we can read them when the background is white/bright.
  • + 6
 You don't understand Portuguese? Wtf is wrong with you man?


lol jk.
  • + 5
 Yeah nice to see him recover so fast - the only thing i dont get is why he doesnt wear a neckbrace, especially after such a hard crash and injury.
  • + 2
 @Iconx
Because a neck brace is not designed to protect the Dorsal (Thoracic) spine. I just fractured two thoracic vertebrae T6 T7 3 1/2 weeks ago which according to published data the T6/T7/T8 area is known to be the area of most spinal injuries in our kind of crashes.
As I plan to keep riding just as hard as ever I have been doing a little research. I asked about wearing my leatt again(I quit after the increase in MX crash brain injuries in people using them) 2 out of the 3 sports med would not recommended wearing one, but wouldn't say not to wear it either(both sighting the increased head trauma reports with them). The other 3 spine specialists had no opinion saying it would probably not do any harm but according to leatt's own information that it is not designed to protect this area of the spine. www.leatt-brace.com/index.php/choose-your-sport/ajax/patented-alternative-load-path-technology-alpt www.leatt-brace.com/customer-support/faq/#381

@spicymike this is my second traumatic injury and I can tell you for me after recovering from my first I came back harder and faster then before! Yes I new how fortunate I was but I also new that I could crash that hard and come back. I was not going to let a injury dictate what I could / couldn't do.
After my first big crash coming back I did close my eyes and hold my breath for a few seconds but as soon as I new everything was ok I got up and gave it 100% again.

Thanks to Emanuel, MADproductions and Pinkbike for posting this hopefully it can be a inspiration to all of us... but especially those coming back from injuries.
  • + 1
 Amazing documentary. Wish you all the best, Manuel!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Amazing job, António, Emanuel and the rest of the crew. Lots of respect for what you're doing for the local biking community. Emanuel, you're an amazing athlete and a true inspiration. Keep riding fast and winning races!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Muito bom!
tup
Great article!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great documentary.
I moved from Portugal about 20 years ago to Canada, I'm happy to see that medical care has come such a long way there, and that MTB is so strong, I actually had no idea the sport had taken off so well, It makes sense though there is great terrain in the continent and the islands (like in the video)
[Reply]
  • + 4
 maginifico trabalho, bela crew.... respect. alem fronteiras é sempre bom falarem de nos TUGAS e puxar um pouco o nosso desporto para cima.. BRAVO
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don´t get, why top racers don't wear back protection?
Ok, Emanuel does now, but does everyone have to go down that road before they come to senses?
I ride DH for fun - no races - and I find my protection vest uncomfortable, goofy looking, but not restriciting and I wear it.
It´s a small price avoiding injuries like that one.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 inspriring, i can only dream of being that fit! lol ....................As you say you do have some choices to reconsider....so why not cinsider wearing a neck brace eh? would set an example to people, not a sign of weakness, best of luck to you!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Can't believe how fast he moved onto training, i broke my back in four places last year and at 4 months i was still struggling to walk without support. seriously a lot of respect for this guy Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Id like to mention that Emanuel does now wear a neck brace and back protection when he rides DH, breaking one's back also does teach valuable lessons on what kit to wear and not wear, c'mon guys
[Reply]
  • + 2
 NAO O CONHECIA MAS PODE TER CERTEZA DE QUE VOCE E UM EXEMPLO DE SUPERACAO !!!!! FORCA QUE VOCE VAI LONGE CAMPEAO !!! VOD !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Excelente este pessoal da MAD Productions...!!!!

Keep up the good work, and great videos... Always great to see good national production on such an important media channel!!!

Parabéns...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Emanuel is doing a emoonual at 21:10!!
  • + 2
 That was so bad, that was actually funny!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Fibra de CAMPEÃO.... muito bom, parabéns, continua que ainda vais mais longe.... Abraço
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Parabéns Pombo por este destaque mais que merecido.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 respect to the man, just watched it with my broken wrist, compare with his injury its nothing. im motivated, thaaanks n keep riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 at 10minutes... I really like the weight plate attached to some rope with a tube... Going to implement that into my training as well. Well done on the come back.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's great that ma'boys from back home made it to the front page! Amazing documentary, quality production, it's always good to see our MADProductions family up there!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Incre'ble historia!!! a disfrutar de la vida y si es arriba de una bicicleta mejor!!!. Abrazo
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great recovery! Good luck to you! However, go easy on the cows next time dude.
  • + 2
 Grande recuperação! Boa sorte a você! Contudo, vá fácil no gajo seguinte do tempo das vacas.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Very inspiring video ! no if only it wasn't winter Frown i'd be stoked to go ride !
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Parabens MAD. He is a great guy and a great downhiller.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 More of this type of thong pinkbike. Enjoyed watching that
  • + 4
 before I saw your comment below I was pretty confused...
  • + 1
 Hang on my last comment was supposed to be a reply to the first. meh
  • + 3
 well now we all know what word your auto correct sees more haha
  • + 1
 Well yea I've gotta buy my DH kit somehow n how else would I search for it? Borat style *cringe*
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Muito boa producao / documentario! Sempre bom ver artigos portugueses a correr o mundo!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wonderful! This was a great story.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Congratz for this video, and for emanuel!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Inspiring! give this man a neckbrace!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Very inspiring!! Great documentary..
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Muito bom, orgulho Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 AH AHAH "vinhamos para Aqui apreciar as vaquinhas" LOL TOP !! \m/ O.o \m/
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thing.... Damn it predictive
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what an inspiration
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sem duvida muito bom!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 muito bom MAD em alta Wink
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Elahh! Olhem os portugesesss!!!! ELAHH!
  • + 3
 don't mistake this guy for me lol
  • + 1
 LOL i actually checked first time round, was quite scared
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Keep on going!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Parabens MAD e POMBO Smile
[Reply]

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv15 0.031503
Mobile Version of Website