Friday, April 4, 2014

Canadian Hockey Played With Broken Foot During Olympics

More than a month after the Sochi Winter Olympics ended, Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser admitted that she played throughout the games and lead the team to an Olympic gold medal with a broken foot. 
Tuesday the 35 year old forward was wearing a walking boot on her left foot at the Hockey Hall of Fame as a guest speaker at the hockey summit.
"I've had a broken foot for about a year now so I'm trying to fix it," Wickenheiser said. "I'm wearing this boot so I can avoid having that surgery, hopefully.
"I knew it was broken at the time (of the Olympics). We just found out it was a little more serious break than we thought. It was just managing the pain."
Wickenheiser did a wonderful job of hiding the injury as neither fans or nor the media picked up on it. She helped lead the Canadian team to a spectacular 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the gold medal game. 
With this being an Olympic year and rest not being an option until after the games, Wickenheiser had to work with the injury. Now that the national team's session is over she has had her foot in a walking boot for two weeks.
"It's kind of perfect timing to rest the foot and just be able to get healthy again," she said. "I spent a lot of time on the bike versus running and did some work around trying to stabilize the foot."
Wickenheiser is one tough cookie. She played in the 2006 Olympics with a broken wrist and was still the tournament's top scorer and MVP. Sports Illustrated included her in their list of 25 toughest athletes in 2008. 
Wickenheiser has won five Olympic medals, including a silver medal at Nagano in 1998. She would like one more opportunity to bring another Olympic medal home for Canada. 
"I think it's fair," Wickenheiser said. "We always say pressure is a privilege and you have an opportunity to win a gold medal because people think you can."
She's however not sure what the future holds for her hockey career. 
"I'll probably go year by year, starting with next year's world championship," she said. "I still love to play. I think I can still play at a high level and be the player I want to be. So until I can't do that anymore, I'll keep playing."
In general, if you still have a broken bone in your foot, ankle, or toe, for more than a year, serious damage is being done. We would suspect that the walking boot alone will not be enough for Wickenheiser and she will require surgery on the broken bone in her foot. 
Reference: Sports Illustrated
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Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
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