From the Rampage to the Wheelchair and Back onto the Trail: Paul Basagoitia

Paul Basagoitia was the best slopestyler in the world. At the Red Bull Rampage 2015 he was so injured that he was in a wheelchair afterwards. The documentary film "Any One of Us", which is well worth seeing, shows his life from his beginnings as a BMX racer, through the zenith of his bike career to its low point and how he fought his way back to life afterwards.

At 16, Paul Basagoitia was a successful BMX racer. His buddy Cam Zink convinced him to come to Crankworx Whistler. There Paul "Bas" won the slopestyle contest on a borrowed dirt bike, because he didn't have one himself. From then on, Basagoitia flew from success to success, becoming the measure of all things in slopestyle. In 2015 he was only missing one win at Red Bull Rampage.

The Red Bull Rampage has seen worse falls than the one that cost Paul Basagoitia his career as a mountain biker. What followed was still the nightmare of every person who likes to move. "Any One of Us" shows in sometimes painful pictures what it means when you can no longer feel your body below your hips. For example, control over the urinary bladder is lost. The film relentlessly shows the desperation of the athlete who was destroyed on the ground.

But what makes the film even stronger is that it doesn't turn into a heroic epic. The exceptional athlete who fights his way up from a wheelchair thanks to his extraordinary personality - that is not the story of Paul Basagoitia. It is true that he actually works for hours every day to be able to walk again, makes progress, draws new hope and has to digest setbacks again and again. But miracles don't happen. His way is to make the best of the possibilities that are left to him. Other people with complete or partial paralysis share in "Any One of Us" how they learned to live with their situation. In the vast majority of cases, spinal cord injury is incurable and involves a lot more difficulties than not being able to bike, play basketball or surf.
Paul Basagoitia can now even ride trails again, the eMTB enables him to conquer inclines and pick up enough speed to make small jumps, in comparison to before. Continuing his slopestyle career is not an issue, but the bicycle is more important than ever for Basagoitia in order to feel free and not to be perceived as a person with a disability. “I'm just a normal person on the bike,” he once said.

Watch "Any one of us" on the Online Portal of SRF or ZDF:

Watch Any One of Us on Play SRF 1h 21min (Switzerland only, no time limmit)

Watch Any One of US on ZDF-Mediathek 1h 21min (Germany only, until 31.12.21)

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