Monthly Archives: April 2012

Comeback Athlete in Facebook Scandal

The achilles tendon is a bridge between the lower leg and the heel. If it ruptures, experts say that any recovery can and will take more than a year. This was the case for Ariane Friedrich, a German high jumper who placed seventh in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. During a training in the winter of 2010, Friedrich seriously damaged her achilles tendon, removing her from all competition through 2011, with no sure guarantee that she would make it back to full health for the 2012 Summer Olympics, scheduled to begin in London on July 27.

According to recent reports, doctors believe she may be capable of joining the summer games, but for the moment, Friedrich has broiled herself into a controversy of ethical and legal proportions. On Facebook, she has been the victim of an ongoing stalker who regularly sends her explicit photographs. Unfortunately, to combat the harassment, Friedrich decided to post the name and address of her stalker, in order to put public pressure on the deviant to stop his actions. Her decision may well have backfired. According to German law, it goes against privacy regulations to post the information of someone other than yourself… which only makes sense. Perhaps what makes the Friedrich case so intriguing is that she is not only an Olympic athlete, but a police officer. Go figure.

We hope to see her come back from the ruptured tendon this July, but we’ll let the German authorities determine whether her actions were ethically within reason.

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Retiring to Ski for Fun

Fifteen months ago, Hans Grugger, a World Cup Alpine Ski Racer from Austria, was airlifted to Innsbruck when he crashed head first into a ski piste (one of those marked runs on the slope). The tragedy culminated in a large and still unresolved debate over safety issues for downhill skiers. Today, however, Grugger came forward to announce his retirement at age 30.

Initially, he attempted a comeback, believing that he could regain control of his right leg, but the chances of doing so in a short time have become harder and harder to measure.

“There is a chance of improvement,” said Grugger, “but you can’t tell how long this is going to take. That’s why I have taken this decision now…I am immensely happy and thankful that I am doing well. That I can’t race in the future is just a relatively minor problem. I can ski for fun and do almost anything I want to do.”

What a novel thought. Grugger may not be able to compete against other professionals anymore, but that doesn’t mean he has to quit enjoying the slopes. On the contrary, he can now go back to skiing the way that most people in the world do it: as an extra-curricular activity.

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When Injuries Lead to Bigger Dreams

Normally, when athletes are injured, fans continue believing in the possibility of a comeback. Athletes themselves will usually push through physical therapy, whether it takes just a few weeks, a couple of months, or even a year to make a full recovery. But for Jessica Craver, a high school soccer star, her shattered leg was the beginning of a new dream.

The daughter of an Army surgeon, Craver struggled initially to redefine herself. But after about four years, she began looking at life through a different lens. “Everybody knew me as an athlete,” she said. “A few years ago I would have said that the accident was the biggest curse. But without it I’d be a completely different person.”

How has she changed?

Craver has been accepted to the University of Colorado, where she intends to study international affairs and biology, using that knowledge to eventually become a member of Doctors Without Borders. She believes in helping to solve issues of Third-World medicine, moving throughout South America and other areas of the world that need a stronger quality of health care. When Craver begins her service around the globe, that once-devastating injury will mean very little. What will remain is a legacy of heart that went well beyond the soccer field.

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Serving a Torn Abdomen

Several months ago, Sophomore Maho Kowase, an incredibly talented tennis player from the University of Georgia, dropped from a serve that literally ripped her abdomen. Tennis athletes rarely think twice about tossing the ball in the air, stretching up with the racket, then slamming the ball across the net. But the truth is, when the body reaches up with a sudden jolt, there is always a risk that muscles will tear unexpectedly. Kowase is living proof.

Kowase is originally from Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, where she won the 2009 Japan Inter High School singles title. She went on to win the 2009 All Japan Junior Tennis Championship, then earn a spot in the Australian Open Junior Qualifying event. All of these prepared her for a chance to become a star with the Georgia Bulldogs. Unfortunately, when she became injured, doctors demanded she do absolutely no exercising. A torn abdomen was simply too serious to allow a careless stretch that might aggravate the soreness and pain. All she could do was watch her team play and offer encouragement. What did she do in the meantime?

“I went out and had fun with my friends,” said Kowase. “I didn’t go crazy, but I had more time and it was nice to use it.”

Truer words have never been spoken by a hard-working athlete. Sometimes an injury gives us the time we need to spend with the people we love in our lives. Now that Kowase is playing tennis again, she has the added support of many teammates who continue to believe she has what it takes to come back in full form.

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Debating Another NFL Injury Bounty?

Some would argue that the collision between Eric Berry and Stevie Johnson doesn’t even come close to the horrifying bounty system that allegedly existed in New Orleans. Others say there’s more to the issue than meets the eye. We think everyone is entitled to their opinion if they have all the information. So here goes…

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, the NFL opened its season with an incredible matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1pm. A solid day of football was the perfect remedy for a reflective nation. But was anyone really watching the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs playing at Arrowhead? Probably not many. Then it’s no wonder that Berry’s season-ending knee injury flew under the radar.

During the first quarter, Chiefs’ Safety, Eric Berry, was running after the ball, hoping to make a big play. Bills’ wide receiver Stevie Johnson came hurling at his knee from a side angle. Neither man touched the ball and Berry didn’t immediately get up. At first, he thought it was just a minor bang-up. After a few days, his season was over. The extent of his knee damage was simply too great. The Bills went on to win that matchup with the day’s largest point differential, 41-7, thanks in large part to a faltering Chiefs’ defense that lacked the skill and leadership of Berry.

Now. All the talk on bounties has been about defensive players going after defense-less players on the offense. In this case, we’re talking about an offensive wide receiver going in for a legal, low hit on a defensive player. Did Johnson, the perpetrator of the alleged crime, intend to ruin the season for Berry? More importantly, was Johnson coaxed into giving a dangerous hit, should the situation allow him to do so?

The likelihood of such a bounty existing for a less-than-popular game with even more less-than-popular players is slim. Especially in light of the fact that this was September 11. Tough to imagine a coach asking a player to cause intentional damage on the very day when similarly gruesome behaviors put a lasting scar on the nation. But try telling that to Berry. Last month, he tweeted a new controversy, while bounty-gate conspiracies were just underway:

“Sometimes I sit n wonder if they had a bounty out on me … oh well … who cares. Either way u can’t hold me down.”

Seems like it would be hard for almost any recovering player to see bounty-gate and not wonder, even just a little, if their injury was intentionally driven from the opponent’s locker room. With Twitter giving voice to those oft-thought fears, Berry might be fishing in a swimming pool, but there’s always room for the possibility.

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Latin Heartthrob Tears Ankle Ligament, Keeps Dancing

Dancing With the Stars is in its 14th season for one reason: we can’t get enough of it! They find the stars, they bring the spice, and we make the call. Monday was Latin Night, with dancers taking on everything from the rumba and the salsa to the cha-cha-cha and the tango. No one wanted to conquer Latin Night more than William Levy, the sexy, Cuban-American actor whose fame nearly jumped off the charts as soon as he entered the contest. But the star twisted his ankle while practicing with his partner on Sunday. Twitter fires were ablaze.

“Just wanted to let you know that I injured my right ankle pretty bad during rehearsal. MRI tomorrow (April 16). I’ll let u all know… Love u all.”

Right before Latin Night?! It can’t be!

Fans watched intently at 8pm Eastern to see if he would come out with the rest of the dancers. And if he came out, would he fall? And if he fell, would the viewers vote him out?

Rest assured, Levy came out with a sultry, passionate tango that earned he and his partner a 10, 9, and 10. That’s right, together they pulled out a 29/30. It was like nothing had ever happened. When asked about the ankle after their dance, he was honest:

“The doctor told me to rest the ankle, but I wasn’t going to rest it tonight.”

Good thing. The judges loved it and we loved it. He can put a brace on it tomorrow.

Our Ankle Shop is filled with braces and supports for those who suffer almost any kind of ankle related injury. Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you. No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

Hero of Super Bowl XLV Still Unsure for 2012

Nick Collins wasn’t the only star on the Green Bay Packers’ sideline during Super Bowl XLV, but his interception in the first quarter was definitely enough to call him one of the game’s heroes. Sadly, in Week 2 of the following year, Collins went down against the Carolina Panthers after trying to tackle running back Jonathan Stewart. While everyone else was preparing for the next play, Collins laid flat on the ground. As we would soon learn, the tragically unsuccessful tackle compromised the future of Collins’ year (2011) and, potentially, his entire career. He would soon undergo a spinal fusion procedure not unlike the surgery that quarterback Peyton Manning went through just a few weeks earlier in the same season.

Coaches in Green Bay are saying, collectively, that they don’t think he’s ready yet to play in 2012. This is probably a good sign of things to come in the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been laying down the law over the last several years, earning him a reputation for trying to clean up a culture of untempered violence. The harshness of his convictions are often criticized (case in point, the bounty-gate hammer), but the fact is, when coaches are willing to be honest about the physical weaknesses of their players, that’s evidence that no one will be pushing men like Nick Collins back onto the field before they’re ready.

Right now, it’s all about the healing process. And from the looks of things, Collins will be out for quite a bit longer.

Our Head and Neck Shop is filled with braces and supports for those who suffer almost any kind of neck injury. Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you. No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

The Woman Behind Bubba Watson’s Success

While most of us were stuffing our faces with Marshmallow Peeps and Chocolate Eggs this Easter, Bubba Watson was winning the Masters’ Golf Tournament against Louis Oosthuizen, who had his own measure of success with a rare albatross (-3 under par). But Smith wasn’t alone in victory.

Media swarmed the champion and had a difficult time edging between he and his beautiful wife, Angie. Here was a woman whose athletic career seemed over in 2002–when a severe ankle sprain and multiple injuries put an end to her potential with the WNBA–but who now serves as the CEO of Bubba Watson, Inc., overseeing all the management of her husband’s astoundingly bright career.

Angie Ball (her maiden name) was a star center and remarkable forward with the Lady Bulldogs, often averaging 26 points on 10 rebounds over her years with the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2000. When ankle sprains and other injuries put her on the sideline, Angie found ways to occupy her time. Instead of being sour about the loss of playing time, she began setting up basketball clinics and leisure trainings for those who needed coaching in various, athletic arenas. Eventually, that path of motivation for other athletes made her the perfect fit for a man who treated golfing as a hobby, but whose skill was far too sharp to be playing only for fun. Angie turned her husband into a champion. And Bubba knows it.

Our Ankle Shop is filled with braces and supports for those who suffer almost any kind of ankle related injury. Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you. No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

Bling Bling on a Neck Brace?

Quite possibly, you’ve never seen anything like it. We certainly haven’t. And dare we say, Ryan Seacrest, the always fashionable host of American Idol had never seen anything like it. What was it?

The bedazzled neck brace! Jason Derulo, who the Brace Shop mentioned on January 26, emerged on stage during last week’s taping of American Idol wearing what some were describing as an outlandish accessory. On March 29, The Hollywood Reporter conducted an interview with the pop star, asking “Where did it come from [the neck brace], who made it?”

“A French jeweler who lives in Paris. He found out that my neck was broken and I had to wear this ugly thing around all the time. So we talked, and he was like, ‘Why don’t I make you a piece?’ and he made me this. I gave him what I had in mind, and he came up with this. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. He turned the ugliest thing into the sexiest thing. It’s all crystals. I have this one, and then I have the other medical one. I’m starting my own line… no, I’m just playing.”

It’s tough to compete with crystal-based neck braces. Seriously. Most of us don’t have that kind of money, let alone the privilege to bump into a Frenchman who can build us a fancy brace with expensive jewels.

The fact is, a neck injury is tough stuff. Personally, emotionally, financially. Tough. Even Derulo can admit that the last few months have been hard. Between the medical costs, the doctor visits, and the therapy, the neck brace should be the least of your expenses. And that’s where we come in. Hat’s off to Derulo for making the neck brace look cool, but for the average person who needs one, it’s our job to make the brace affordable. Not to mention, the physicians who design our braces have a far more important set of goals in mind than just sexy. They aim for stability, support, and comfort.

Should you end up in the same situation as Derulo, causing long term damage to the neck, we hope you’ll choose from our Head and Neck Shop. You won’t find any Crystal Neck Braces. Not yet, at least.

No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!

Knicks: Now It’s Time to Worry about Lin

News from this weekend forced the New York Knicks to make an about-face regarding the status of Jeremy Lin. Last week, the team had no fear that he’d be back from the ‘knee pain’ that forced him to warm the bench on March 24. He’s just a little rusty, they said. His knee was proving a little weak because his body wasn’t familiar with lengthy season activity. That’s all, we thought. Lin-sanity would be back in full Sports Illustrated fashion by the middle of the next week.

Well, the middle of that next week came and went. The news was bad: Lin needs surgery on his knee. Immediately.

However somber, this rising b-ball genius was cognizant of his place on the roster; acknowledging that if his performance hadn’t become so popular over the past six weeks, he might be going into surgery with a tremendous concern about his future in the game. Now that everyone knows how good he is, surgery just means a minor delay to the world’s newest basketball star.

“If this was done very early in the year, obviously… I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot. But having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”

Knee surgery will sideline Jeremy Lin for at least six weeks, potentially minimizing any potential of seeing the Knicks reach the playoffs. If they do get in, however, Lin might see some action in postseason, should his recovery remain on schedule. The world will be watching.

Our Knee Shop is filled with braces and supports for those who suffer almost any kind of knee injury. Each item comes highly recommended at a reasonable cost to you. No one can beat The Brace Shop prices, their service and their huge selection. The Brace Shop supplies hospitals, sports teams, schools, doctors, therapists, nursing homes & military bases around the world. Shop Where The Pros Go!