Jasper Iwema: War affects everything in our lives

Sport has recently moved to the background for understandable reasons. The Dutch player of Polish origin, Jasper Iwema, rightly admits that the situation in Ukraine affects everything in our lives. He himself was helping refugees a few days ago. Now he will try to switch to the sports competition mode in the Ice Arena, where he will come with the hope of a good result.


– The first of the two finals of the European Individual Ice Speedway Championship, which took place at the track in Sanok, was going your way for a long time. You were promoted to the play-off run, but unfortunately you were a little short of the final race.

– I felt good in Sanok, we improved the motorcycle’s stability a lot. It was important to get the maximum number of points in the first part of the competition. It happened, which allowed me to qualify for the play-off run. It was not so easy there, because the ice cracked and it was harder to find a matching motorcycle. This is something we must continue to work on. But I am happy that me and my team are on the right path and that we are getting faster every time.

– How will you approach the second final tournament of the Individual European Championship? Times are tough because of the war, can you focus on competition at all?

– Of course, this war affects everything in life, but at the same time the world moves on. It’s a harsh reality that isn’t always fair. We can take more than a moment to emphasize that we do not want war, we do not want to help refugees, and treat the victims of military operations with honor. By racing, you can also indicate solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, which will also take place in Arena Lodowa.

– We heard that you got involved in helping with the transport of refugees from Ukraine.

– I don’t want to talk about it too widely. I picked up four women with five children from the Polish-Ukrainian border. There was also a dog with them. I arranged for everyone to stay overnight. And that’s it. It is not about what I did, but because my actions inspired others to help. Many little things can build one big one!

– Two Russians who were excluded from the competition will not go to Tomaszów Mazowiecki. On the one hand, it will lower the sports level, and on the other hand, it was the only right decision. What do you think about it?

– It is definitely a bad situation when politics and wars have an influence on sport. They should really be separate topics. But of course I understand this decision by the motorcycle federation authorities. It will be a different final than expected. However, we will go for ours and simply race to pay tribute to the victims of the war.

– Let’s move on to sports competition for a moment. If you were to compare the “Błonie” track in Sanok to the one in Tomaszów Arena Lodowa, what would you say about them? Explain this to our fans who are watching your competition from the stands.

– Of course, the fundamental difference is prosaic and known to everyone – in Sanok the track is open, and in Tomaszów Mazowiecki it is covered, so the ice in Sanok is more dependent on weather conditions. But both Polish tracks are definitely different than those located in the open air in Sweden and Russia. When it comes to speed, the bends in Sanok are slower, but the straight bends are a bit longer and in the end the speeds are compared. If I had to choose which of the Polish tracks is my favorite then… I won’t make a choice. I like racing on both.

– How do you rate your form this year. I don’t just mean the European Championship. It is also about other professions.

– I did not start well this year, I had a lot of problems, but now I drive rather in the front of the pack. So I am pleased with the progress I have made.

– In your opinion, can you say that thanks to the events organized in Tomaszów Mazowiecki and Sanok, ice speedway is becoming more and more popular in Poland?

– It’s great to see people in Poland working hard to make ice speedway more popular in the minds of fans. It certainly costs a lot of time and a lot of money, but you can see that Polish fans love this type of speedway. This is also great news for us, the players! Everyone likes to compete in Poland very much.

– Also, tell us a little more about your country driving negotiations?

“I just want to point out that all my doors are open on this topic and… we’re still talking about it.

Angelika Nowicka interviewed