It’s just the Sochi Olympics’ opening weekend, but already there have been several notable mishaps. Of course, there was the highly visible Olympic Ring blooper during the opening ceremonies, but the more disheartening problems are those affecting the individual athletes’ health.
Hitting close to home, American skier Maggie Voisin (our youngest Olympian at just 15 years old) broke her ankle while practicing on the dangerous slopestyle course. Sixteen-year-old snowboarder Ty Walker bruised her heel during practice on the final rail of that course; it remains to be seen how that injury will affect her ability to compete. Skier Heidi Kloser, 21, also fell on the slopestyle course, breaking her leg, tearing ligaments in her knee and ending her Olympic dream, for this year at least.
The U.S. isn’t the only country feeling the pain of ankle injuries; Finland’s hockey team has lost its team captain, Mikko Koivu, to a broken ankle, although he got that injury on January 9 while playing in the NHL for the Minnesota Wild. Finland will also be playing without Valtteri Filppula, who broke his ankle during NHL league play with his team the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, one in 10 Winter Olympians suffered an injury during the 2012 Vancouver games; if opening weekend is any indication, the Sochi Olympic Games may raise that statistic even higher.
Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a weekend warrior, winter sports injuries are serious matters. If you have injured your toe, foot or ankle and hope to get back into your favorite sport, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists as soon as possible.