Rubén Nova arrived this Saturday excited at the Seville airport, from where he would head to Jaén to participate in a parabádminton championship. But the excitement turned to shock after getting off the Ryanair plane in which he was traveling. Specifically, until he saw his racing chair appear through the special luggage belt.
“Nooo !! The back wheel is missing!”, He exclaimed at first before his wife and the assistance person who accompanied him. As he approached, he began to see more damage: the legs of the wheels bent, the bar that holds his legs in … “It seems that a car has passed over him,” he explains in conversation with elDiario.es.
“At that moment, in my head I said: that’s it, I can’t compete,” says Nova, 31. The young man suffered a spinal injury in a motorcycle accident in July 2020 and has been playing badminton since last December. At that point, he says, he was “in shock.” “There are four or five parabadminton championships a year and this was the last one. I had been training all these months and I was excited because I saw that I had improved. I was going to show my improvement. Also, my doubles partner, Paco Motero, is Champion of my category in individual and I was going with the illusion of playing with him, but in the end nothing … “, he already relates from the Mallorcan municipality of Andraxt, where he returned on the next flight. “What were we going to do?”
Before, yes, his wife went to the airline counter while Nova was absorbing what had just happened. When he approached, he explains, “the girl at the counter and the attendant were hallucinating.” “They told me that they had been working there for 15 years and that they had never seen a chair like that. She had her eyes that would pop out of me,” he continues. After filing the claim at the airport, they had to file another one via the internet and the athlete decided to tell what had happened to him on his social networks. The tweet went viral.
“As it has become viral, Ryanair has seen it – on Instagram it is possible to see which accounts have viewed your content – but they have not contacted me”, regrets Nova, “I suppose they will be waiting for the claim to arrive.” However, the young man finds it “strange” not to have received a call or a message from the company, to try to reassure him, offer him a solution or “simply ask what happened”.
Because the fact of not being able to compete this weekend adds another inconvenience, which may be even greater. His competition chair is made to measure and costs 7,500 euros. Right now, “it can’t be fixed”, so Nova needs a new one and it’s not something you buy overnight. “When they made me this chair they had to take my measurements in the store; send them to the factory; the factory makes a plan and sends it back to the orthopedics; we review it; they send it again and they already start to manufacture it. four months, “he explains.
A period of time in which not only will you not be able to compete, but you will not be able to train either. “What bothers me the most is not being able to train. I wake up, get up and go to train four days a week. I have had stiffness and spasticity problems and the only thing that saved me was to go to training. it evades a bit, which saves me. Now if I’m not going to train, what do I do? “, he says, while waiting for a response from Ryanair in the next few days. “Let’s see when they contact me and I don’t know what solution they can give me … Pay for the chair, I imagine,” he says.
Nova also regrets the lack of communication. “Much less I think they did it on purpose or that they took the chair with bad temper. It must have been accidentally, someone has taken the chair, it has fallen and they have run over it with the car or whatever. Anything can happen, but say it; don’t put her in the car as if nothing had happened, “he explains.
This wording has tried to contact the airline, but has not received a response. On their website they indicate that their press office is closed on weekends. On the same website they point out that claims for damage or loss of checked luggage are processed “normally within 15 business days”.