PETR KOUKAL – Bye Bye Cancer

Petr Koukal fought cancer and won. The number 1 Czech badminton player has just heard the good news that his treatment was over and that he can start practicing again.  […]

fought and won. The number 1 Czech badminton player has just heard the good news that his treatment was over and that he can start practicing again.  It goes without saying that it is a relief for him, his family and his friends on the circuit.

Photos: Rights reserved

“Bye Bye Cancer”. By these few words, Petr Koukal announced the good news to all his friends on his Facebook page.  Right after that, a lot of players and friends posted on his wall about how happy they were that the nightmare was finally over. After 3 months of treatment and chemotherapy, the cancer had gone for good. Life can begin again for the fighting Czech.

Here I am. No more cancer. Healthy,” said the tall Czech. But it was not all easy for him.

It took three cycles of chemotherapy.  Each took five days, each day six hours of infusions. Two weeks break between each cycle. The first two were ok, of course I was not feeling 100% but it wasn’t as hard as I expected. I also played French Open which made me really happy and I enjoyed it so much – to be “on tour” again. That was just great. But it wasn’t good idea to play. My body was really tired and just one day after the match with Dicky I lost all my hair …”

The last chemotherapy was so hard. I could never imagine that I would suffer so much. It was the hardest thing in my life, really. Not only those five days but also next five days I was just feeling so bad and so sick and tired. I know it was necessary to do that and now I am happy it is over. It was very hard experience, but I believe that it will only make me stronger and tougher…”

Back on track

The doctors told Petr that he is almost 100% healthy, that the cancer is gone, and apart from medical checks – the regular procedure – all should be fine. Of course, the shuttler expects tough weeks ahead to get back to his usual physical condition, in order to reach one of his first goals – win a 5th title in his home Czech Open next February.

Of course it will take time to get back on track, because it is almost 4 months with no regular training. My fitness is really at a very low level.  My body hurts even only when I have to climb stairs. It is very hard to imagine to get back but I believe I can do it. It is a very new experience for me because I have never even been seriously injured and I actually never stopped practising for more then week or two.” he added.

Beyond Badminton

Petr Koukal is an Ambassador for Solibad – Badminton without Borders and had already started promoting the work of the foundation but his experience sees him go further in that direction.

I am setting up a project/foundation that would alert young men that this problem could happened to any one of us. And that it is very important to go and see the doctor as soon as you find some symptoms… I believe this could save lives. But for now, I would like to thank for all the help that I was getting during this hard period of my life. My family, friends and many badminton players were a big support for me!” added the friendly giant, who had gotten a big postcard signed by all top players right in his mail box a few weeks ago. All of them who will be very pleased to see Petr back on track.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.