2020 Sports, Health and Wellness, Large Newsroom finalist

The Long Road Back

About the Project

Robert Wickens was in the middle of one of the greatest rookie seasons auto racing had ever seen when it all came crashing down.

Touted as Canada’s next great racecar driver, and mentioned alongside the sport’s legendary names, Wickens awoke from a 10-day medically induced coma and was given terrifying news he struggled to process: he was paralyzed and would never walk again.

In 2019, Globe and Mail journalists Grant Robertson and David Goldman went beyond the now infamous 14-second clip of the accident to document the full story behind Wickens’s crash and its devastating toll.

Through meticulous reporting Robertson and Goldman gained access to Wickens’s family, his fiancée Karli, his medical records, and IndyCar debriefings that helped take the reader inside one of the scariest moments in Canadian sports.

It was a tale some readers thought they knew, but ultimately did not.