You're right, plushyfan. Athletes think differently. Much as we'd like to keep our favorite skaters in protective wrapping, they would probably rather throw themselves into competition, even if it does damage at some unspecified future date. Certainly your favorite, Plushy, is an example of this. I think it's an integral part of their character.
Golly, I'd forgotten about Hermann Meier's comeback. It is a breathtaking story, isn't it.
Wicked Yankee Girl
it is a super story
He might have won the downhill at Nagano as well if the organizers hadn't changed the course due to fog without giving the skiers a chance to do a practice run on the revised course.
Originally Posted by plushyfan
(Note: so far, at least, only a few of her Instagram photos are related to skating.)
It is not fair to say Alissa does "not know her body." She waited a very long time after having the surgery until she finally competed. Originally it was only supposed to be four months but she withdrew from the November competition because she was not ready. I think that she listened to her body that time. Nobody else can say what she is feeling.
Originally Posted by tulosai
^ It's one thing to be fit enough to get on the ice again, but a whole different story to get back to being competitive at the top level...
Ugh, watching her compete is pure torture. beautiful skater, cannot compete. She waits so long before jumping, from fear, there is no way she can get the job done. Perfect princess, adorable but never ever gonna compete, and no way should she get an Olympic spot over Wags, goldie, or at 3 other skaters.
I agree but that doesn't mean Alissa was wrong to be skating, just because she wasn't at the level of a national champion yet. It was supposed to be 4 months to be back on the ice to practice. Alissa waited almost 7 months to compete. That is 3 extra months that she thought was long enough to be ready. There's a huge gap between that and her "not listening to her body."
Originally Posted by R.D.
Alissa obviously did not feel injured if she was ready to compete in Appleton with two complete programs. She did not hurt herself training before that time. The dislocation could have been a fluke. If she had a bad landing where her blade stuck in the ice wrong and her hip rotated, it would be easy for it to be dislocated. Nobody should say that she shouldn't have competed or continue to compete because one flukey thing happened to her. She was clearly fit enough to train the programs in the first place.
08-13-2013, 09:09 PM
Any skater can have a rough landing on a jump, but how many skaters have you heard of who dislocated a hip during a club competition? I know I haven't heard of any, except Alissa Czisny. I don't think the dislocation was a fluke: she dislocated the same hip on which she'd had surgery 7 months previously. She may have felt as if she had healed, but obviously her hip was still in a delicate condition, and it took a second surgery to repair the damage.
Originally Posted by leafygreens
Alissa also had claimed she didn't feel pain during the period leading up to Worlds 2012, when she had a bad performance at a "B" event, followed by a disastrous pair of performances at Worlds 2012. She only knew that her jumps weren't working. So it doesn't seem as if Alissa's mind is in tune with her body.
08-13-2013, 11:49 PM
So because she's the only one it's happened to, that means she should stop skating, while all the other skaters (lots of them) who have had hip surgeries can continue on with their careers.
Originally Posted by chuckm
It doesn't seem that way, because you can't feel pain with the torn labrum until it's already torn. Cartilage has no nerves, only the bone. It could have been tearing slowly the entire season until coming to a head at Worlds. Once bone touches bone is when you start to feel pain. Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski have made similar statements about their torn labrums. They felt something wrong but couldn't figure out what. There are times of no pain and times of intense pain. They recovered just fine and continued to skate, even if it was at the end of their amateur careers. Tara also didn't listen to her body as she got on the ice within a week of surgery, and skated through intense pain, against doctor's orders, just to make the SOI rehearsals.
Originally Posted by chuckm
This particular issue is frequently misdiagnosed and only starting to be recognized by doctors who aren't hip specialists. Skaters may feel confused if they are getting inadequate medical opinions. It may have taken Alissa a few doctors until she found one who figured out the problem. Then after healing, by seven months you will feel great. There is no reason to believe that after seven months Alissa was skating in terrible pain and should have known better that her hip would be dislocated. The success rate for this surgery is something like 95%. Alissa's doctor is one of the top surgeons in the world. He deals with pro athletes constantly. He would not let her skate if there was a huge risk of hip dislocation.
In other words... Give her a break!
08-14-2013, 01:39 AM
Kwan was feeling pain in her last two seasons of competitive skating, and Tara was feeling pain in her Olympic season. They both had the same surgery as Alissa. Tara went right back to skating after the surgery and developed arthritic pain in her hip which eventually put an end to her skating career. That's when she switched to acting.
Michelle had the surgery, but waited for about a year before getting back on the ice, meanwhile finishing up her undergrad degree. She resumed training, but never returned to competitive skating, instead deciding to go to graduate school. Michelle has done exhibition skating, and has said she now skates without pain.
Neither Michelle nor Tara returned to competitive skating after the surgery. Naomi Nari Nam also had the surgery, and it ended her competitive career as well.
What is different about Alissa Czisny is she is the only skater that I know of who had surgery for a torn labrum and attempted a return to competitive skating. It's not that I don't wish her well, but I have my doubts about whether she can make a successful return, at the level she was before the labrum injury.
08-14-2013, 04:22 AM
I wish Alissa all the best, and would love to see her completely back.
Originally Posted by chuckm
But not being either an accomplished skater or a medical expert, listening to Debi Thomas (who is, of course, both a former champion, as well as an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip injuries) is somewhat sobering: (from The Skating Lesson interview) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDux0-mSW5I
The most relevant portion is from about 30:30 to about 35:30.
08-14-2013, 09:37 AM
Very interesting to listen to, Robeye. Thanks for the link. I am reminded of ballet dancer Suzanne Farrell, who had actual hip replacement surgery. She did dance again but didn't do a lot of the movements she had done prior to her operation. Being a legendary dancer, she had dances choreographed especially for her, and of course she was not being judged in comparison to other dancers as a top-level competitive skater would be.
Originally Posted by Robeye
Of course, Alissa has every right to try to continue, but it might not work out for her, and she and her fans (me included) have to be prepared for that outcome.
08-14-2013, 12:08 PM
I spent some time with a dancer a while back. She once told me jokingly (or at least I took it as a joke at the time) that if a dancer never had a serious injury in her career, it meant she wasn't working hard enough and would probably never amount to much. At times it seems to me that athletes and performing artists are people that make the Faustian bargains, trading their future long-term health in exchange for an all-too brief period of excellence, glory, and, for a very few, the chance for a kind of Homeric immortality.
Originally Posted by Olympia
A more macabre analogy are the willing participants of pre-modern rites, as among the pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic tribes, generally young adults without physical blemish and blessed with beauty, who would be adored by their communities for some period, every wish granted, after which they would willingly allow themselves to be sacrificed for their communities and to their gods. When I read about Plushenko enthusiastically coming back to give more after already enduring permanent spinal damage, the image that comes to mind is straight out of The Golden Bough: the sacrifice of the sacred king.
In this respect, I often wonder whether human beings, when we look beyond surface appearances, have actually made any progress at all. We seem to harbor the same instincts as our forefathers, albeit expressed in different ways.
OK, enough channeling of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King (although I do think I'd make a valuable companion around a moonless campfire ).
I also found very interesting Debi's subsequent comments (after 35:30) on how much technical training (i.e. jumps and spins) skaters should do. Her point is that when she was training 6 hours a day, 4 of them were devoted to figures, and a good chunk of the balance consisted of off-ice training for flexibility and strength, so the amount of time devoted to the high-impact repetitions (which increases the tendency toward injuries) was limited when compared to today's skaters.
The other point she makes that I find fascinating is her view that 95% of athletics is mental/psychological, and that high-level athletes, skaters in this case, would probably be better off if they spent less time on the physical training of arduous elements, and more on the psychological aspects. She implies that this is not only because it lessens the risk of injury by decreasing the cumulative effect of high-impact repetitions in training, but because it is actually much more effective to include a unit of psychological training/preparation in improving actual competitive performance than to stack yet another unit of physical training onto an already taxing physical regimen.