Winter Olympics Shaped by Ankle Injuries

Olympian Shaun White rehabbing his sprained ankleAs we gear up to watch the much-anticipated 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, starting February 7, many country’s teams are changing their game plan due to foot and ankle injuries.

Snowboarder Shaun White, a two-time gold-medal winner for the U.S. in previous Olympics, had a hard time making the 2014 team because he had an ankle injury. Then, after qualifying, he sprained his left ankle during recent qualifying runs for the Slopestyle competition. He is still planning on participating in the Olympics, but he had to withdraw from the X Games because of the sprain.

Around the same time as White got hurt, Wang Meng, the Chinese Olympic speed skating champ, broke her right ankle. Meng got hurt when she collided with a teammate during training; her injury requires surgical repair and will force her to withdraw from the games.

Meanwhile, Kim Yu-Na, the reigning gold medal figure skating champ, only recently decided that she would be able to compete at Sochi. Yu-Na, who is the first South Korean woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal, suffered an injury to the metatarsal bone in her foot during training in the fall. That injury kept her off the ice for six weeks and, until recently, put her Olympic dreams in peril.

At this point, you may be saying to yourself—so what? Well, even though not too many of us are chasing Olympic dreams, a lot of you will be enjoying the same winter sports—skiing, snowboarding and skating—as the Olympic hopefuls I’ve just told you about.

As your Houston podiatrist, I’m sharing this information with you to make sure you take care when enjoying these potentially dangerous pastimes. I also invite you to see me at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for any winter sports injury you may incur. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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