Saturday, August 1, 2009

Surgical gamble pays off for Langlois, Hay

Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay personify an old adage: "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

In the wake of a series of frustrating setbacks that kept them out of competition all of last season, the 2008 Canadian pairs champions have probably made enough proverbial lemonade to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool. Now, they are hoping to reap big dividends from their lemonade-making approach to last season's misfortunes.

When Langlois suffered a spiral fracture to her lower right fibula last July, doctors hoped it would heal and the team would be ready to compete at Skate Canada at the end of October. That didn't happen, nor did the team's trip to Japan for the its second Grand Prix assignment. As the months went by, the duo's hopes would climb as Langlois inched towards full recovery only to be dashed when perplexing pain in her ankle would unexpectedly return, setting her back to square one.

As opportunities to compete at the 2009 Canadians, Four Continents and Worlds came and went, what was to be Langlois and Hay's fourth season together evaporated.

It was in February that Langlois and Hay decided they had to take a big gamble. The plate and five pins that had been inserted to help Langlois' bones heal more quickly had to come out if they were ever going to make it back into contention for the Olympic season.

"We had to go for it," coach Lee Barkell said. "Things might not have changed or, maybe, it was the answer. But -- touch wood -- so far, so good. After the surgery, we had to wait for the holes to fill in before she starting pounding [on jump and throw landings], but the biggest thing was the improvement in mobility.

"That was hindering her all last year, what she was complaining about, and for landing jumps and throws, obviously, that's an issue," Barkell added, noting the pair is back to a full training schedule both on- and off-ice.

Full article.

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