News / USA

    Overcoming Sports Injuries is both Mental, Physical Challenge

    George Washington University's women's basketball team during a practice
    George Washington University's women's basketball team during a practice

    Multimedia

    Tala Hadavi

    Women are more prone to sports related injuries than men, but overcoming one season-ending injury after another can be a serious mental and physical test for just about anyone.

    Nicole Ryan, 23, is a 6th year senior basketball player at American University in Washington. She grew up in an athletic family in Florida. And from the very first time she stepped onto the court as a four year old she knew basketball was going to be her one and only love. But with that love, came a lot of pain.

    "After my freshman year in high school I broke my hand. The next year I tore my hamstring. The following year I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament]. I came to American [University] -- I had two stress fractures in my shin my Freshman season… that summer I had a torn meniscus and another stress fracture so I had surgery and I was put in a boot.  [During] my sophomore year I played I broke my wrist, came back strong ready to go for my senior season and tore my Achilles [tendon]," recalled Ryan.

    While Ryan may be an unusual case, Orthopedic Surgeon David Higgins says season-ending injuries among women are more common than most people may realize.

    "They've done a lot of studies in particularly knees that women are probably eight to ten times more likely to tear their ACL's, their anterior cruciate ligament, than men are.  What has been the most prevalent problem with women having a greater incidence of ACL tears has really been their lack of training.  But it's not because the women don't want to train. It's because the culture has not been there," noted surgeon Higgins.

    Ivy Abiona plays basketball at George Washington University, also in Washington. She plays on a full scholarship, but has paid a price physically. After two full years of rehabilitation to both knees, Ivy has remained true to a simple approach.

    "Either way, it's going to hurt, so you might as well get through it," said Abiona.  "I just kind of took that as my motto or theme through the whole rehab process. And just went with that and kept on going."

    Abiona's coach Michael Bozeman has great admiration for her hard work.

    "That young lady is the epitome of hard work and sacrifice," said Bozeman.

    Nicole's coach LaTonya Watson is full of admiration as well.

    "It's a really tough road, Nicole unfortunately understands that tough road," noted Watson.

    Both Nicole Ryan and Ivy Abiona now know their injuries have made them stronger.

    "This process has been really difficult," said Ryan.  "And I think that it has definitely made me who I am. I mean having something taken away that I loved so much. Its proved a lot to myself what kind of person I am and what I can overcome."

    As positively as these women have approached these injuries, the question remains… could they have been prevented? And if so, how?

    "[It] all has to do with two big things. The prime one is the strength training.  And then also the skills that they are teaching women that they weren't doing quite as much 10-15 20 years ago," explained surgeon Higgins.

    Whether or not Ryan and Abiona go on to play professional basketball, they are more prepared for whatever the future holds.  For now, it's just one more year of healthy college basketball.

    You May Like

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Mali, a Way Station for Syrians Headed to Europe

    Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora