Emil Johansson Talks About Overcoming Injury & His 10-Month Break From Competition

Aug 10, 2018
by Alex Evans  
Emil Johansson is a name that burst into the forefront of our minds during the 2017 FMB World Tour and Crankworx events. The then 18-year-old slopestyle rider podiumed at 4 FMB Diamond events throughout the season, culminating with him clinching the overall title from veterans like Brett Rheeder & Brandon Semenuk.

Emil Johansson in Redbull Joyride action from Crankworx Whistler. Photo Fraser Britton Crankworx
Emil Johansson

Unfortunately for Emil, he was diagnosed with a congenital 6th lumbar vertebrae defect that has caused significant pain and issues with riding his bike. Emil hasn't competed in a single Crankworx event this year due to being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that has sadly slowed down his ability to recover and rehab from his back injury.

Emil explains below, but we all wish him the best of luck with his recovery and hope that he can get back to the top of the sport soon.

bigquotesItโ€™s August the 10th & for the past 10 months Iโ€™ve been going through some really tough times. I have received many messages & questions about my injury & why I am not riding any contestโ€ฆ I hope this explain it all for you why have been off the circuit for the whole season.

Iโ€™ve been suffering from back pain since October. But I also have had some immune system problems that Iโ€™ve been dealing with for the past 8 months. If I count up the weeks for every time Iโ€™ve been sick this year it is more than 50%.

bigquotes4 weeks ago I went to see a specialist in Germany. The specialist found out that I have a chronic inflammation in my throat.. and diagnosed me with an auto immune disease and in my case this autoimmune disease is attacking my thyroid gland in my throat. Since the thyroid gland is such an important part of the whole immune system this have a lead to the fact that Iโ€™ve been sick so much this year.

I was born with the genetic to get an auto immune disease but only since 10 years ago itโ€™s been affecting me, without me being aware of it until only 4 weeks ago. It takes time for the immune system to get as bad as itโ€™s got on me & I am incredibly lucky to meet a doctor that knows how to deal with it this early out.. If I wouldโ€™ve met this doctor I would only gotten worse. Iโ€™m currently on medicine & I have for the past three weeks, the medicine Iโ€™ve taking have been tough on me Iโ€™ve not been feeling very good. Iโ€™m going to keep taking the medicine for the next few months and then do a blood check up again to see how Iโ€™m doing. This chronic inflammation in my body is something that in the end also have affected the healing process off my back. Since I have this inflammation in my body nonstop this have a lead to my back not healing properly and as fast as it would do on a healthy person. There will be an end to all this it just takes time, both my back & immune system have needed every single day off I have had to recover.

Hope this explains a lot.

Hope to see you all in Whistler!
Emil Johansson

Check out more from Emil on his Instagram account.

Photo credit: Crankworx & FMBA


  • 26 5
 All the best, I hope you get good health care which is not easy anywhere in the world including Sweeen where doctors downplay everything that doesnโ€™t look like an obvious injury or life threatening emergency. Haf of my wives family has auto immune problems and they too got diagnosed late in their life.

You are amazingly precise ripper, would be freat to see you up there again, cheers!
  • 33 0
 I definitely read that like you had numerous wives for a minute.
  • 8 4
 @adrennan: that would be terrible. Even worse than dying, waking up in heaven among 53 virgins. One wife and one loose woman is on the edge of what I can take.
  • 3 2
 Doctors are mostly trained to treat symptoms not the cause. Healthcare would be nowhere near as profitable when ill people would actually be made healthy again. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want.
  • 3 0
 @colincolin: unfortunately itโ€™s become a profit driven commodity industry all the way down to the provider. They have a pill for every situation.
  • 6 0
 I can't wait to see him shredding again. His run from Montpellier is such a pleasure to watch, composition of that run together with flawless execution makes me watch it over and over again. And crazines that went down at Nine knights just left me spechless. Heal up fast boss!
  • 6 1
 I hope that the treatment helps and youโ€™ll feel better soon. Try to enjoy your time even if itโ€™s overshadowed by this. Staying positive is such a vital thing with these long term illnesses. Wishing you all the best.
  • 3 0
 Having injuries is tough, but finding out you have an auto immune disease that keeps making you sick sounds absolutely horrible. My deepest sympathies go out to Emil and I hope the Dr's are able to help him to make a full recovery. The bike will be there, just take care of yourself in the meantime and hope you are able to get well soon!
  • 3 0
 Met this guy during a few Crankworx events, by far one of the most chilled out coolest guys to chat to! Plus his riding is so much fun to watch. Sucks not to see him riding and hope you get better soon bro!
  • 3 0
 Good luck Emil... fav slopestyle rider by miles. Cool, calm, composed, flawless, brave, accurate... everything my riding isnโ€™t !!!
  • 1 0
 Look into CBD... And while in Canada you can definitely pick up / try some. Note: you can buy legal hemp based CBD.

Itโ€™s helped this old man keep ripping! Albeit not auto immune Iโ€™m dealing with inflammation of joints etc. Iโ€™ve read it helps auto immune though... research it.
  • 1 0
 Heal up man! I know the doctors want to heal you with prescription medication but you should look to diet for inflammation. Itโ€™s a little unknown fact that diets high in fats and โ€œgood oilsโ€ can change so much. Big pharmaceutical does not want you to know this. They want you to stay sick itโ€™s more money for them. Cut out all refined sugars and refined carbs and switch to a ketogenic for it is the magic pill!
  • 3 0
 Heal up man, such a sick rider! Good luck with your health

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