Tuesday, October 09, 2007

IG Online Interview

Here is an article that was posted on IG Online today:
http://www.intlgymnast.com/interview/shewfelt_kyle_3.html



IG Online Interview: Kyle Shewfelt (Canada) By John Crumlish

A month after surgery on both legs, 2004 Olympic floor exercise champion Kyle Shewfelt of Canada told IG he plans to be 100 percent back by January.


Shewfelt (pictured at right in Stuttgart with the Czech Republic's Jana Komrskova) was injured Aug. 27 while training for the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, when he landed stiff-legged on a layout Arabian double front on floor exercise.


The 25-year-old Shewfelt underwent surgery on Sept. 7 by Dr. Nick Mohtadi, a surgeon with the Canadian Sport Centre in Calgary.


Shewfelt is the reigning Olympic champion on the event, as well as the 2003 and 2006 world championships bronze medalist.


Shewfelt's injury sidelined him in Stuttgart, where he remained for the team qualification round to support his Canadian teammates. Even without Shewfelt's scores, the Canadian men finished 11th, earning Canada one of 12 team berths to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Shewfelt plans to spend the next several months rehabilitating his legs and hopes to defend his Olympic floor exercise title in Beijing.


In this IG Online interview, the optimistic Shewfelt describes what happened in Stuttgart, his intended recovery process and his ultimate goal of returning to the Olympic Games next year.


IG: Was the nature of your injury more complicated than you originally thought?


KS: It was definitely more complicated than originally expected. As it turns out, both fractures were displaced, and the left knee had a chipped bone and a stretched ligament. During surgery they put one screw into my right knee, and two screws and a plate into the left. They also had to reattach the bone chip and stabilize the stretched ligament.


IG: Based on the progress you've made between surgery and now, how long do you think you will need to be back at 100 percent?


KS: It's been a few weeks since surgery, and things are going pretty well. I am still very restricted, but I have a bit more freedom in terms of movement and activity.
After surgery, I woke up with two giant braces on my legs. I was able to partially weight-bear on the right, as the brace was set to allow a 30- to 90-degree range of motion. The left was locked in at 30 degrees. I think the first two weeks after surgery were the most difficult, because I couldn't do anything on my own and I was in quite a bit of pain.
During this time, I spent a lot of time doing nothing! It was a struggle to conjure up any motivation because it was a huge effort to do easy, everyday tasks. I had some time to catch up on my movies and read a few good books, though, so that was all right!


IG: What is your present condition?


KS: I got clearance to remove the right brace. I am now allowed to work up to full weight-bearing on this leg — although it is really stiff and I can't bend or straighten it all the way yet. I also get hyperextension flashbacks when I straighten it too much — not a nice feeling!. I am also allowed to partially weight-bear on the left. Dr. Mohtadi said that the left should be about a month behind the right due to the ligament damage.


I think that I should be back to 100 percent by January. I should be back into training in a couple of weeks. I have time right now, so I need to make sure that I heal properly. I have the tendency to get frustrated and try to push myself too much a little too soon, but I need to avoid doing this. It will be counterproductive, and I want to come back strong.


IG: What kind of physical therapy and conditioning are you doing?


KS: I have been doing physio since a few days after surgery. Just basic stuff like ultrasound, laser treatments, muscle stimulation and some massage. I have also done a few acupuncture treatments. I am taking a huge variety of vitamins, as well, to optimize healing. Now that I have the right brace off, we have done some leg conditioning and range of motion stuff.
As for conditioning, I have spent a lot of time on the arm bike, but my main source of activity has been getting around in a wheelchair and using my crutches and walker! I have an amazing support team at the Sport Centre here in Calgary, and we are developing a good plan for my recovery. I am going to start some weight training and core conditioning and continue with physio.


IG: What gymnastics, if any, are you allowed to do presently?


KS: I'm not cleared for any gymnastics as of right now. I am still very restricted. Also, I don't want to go into the gym just because I feel like I have to be there. That's pointless. I want to come in with a plan and feel like I'm accomplishing something. I think that I will be able to do some press handstands and specific conditioning within the next couple of weeks, so I will go in when I am more comfortable doing these types of things. I think it's important for me to feel a little more mobile before I head back into the gym.


IG: What have the doctors advised you, regarding your competitive status leading up to Beijing?
KS: We did the surgery with the intention of being in top form for the Olympics. I might not compete until the late spring, but I will be healthy. I want to compete in my third Olympic Games, have the opportunity to defend my Olympic title and contribute great performances to the team. My goals are still the same; it's just going to be a more interesting journey!




Kyle Shewfelt is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
"Production Values," "Shewfelt's Role Both Familiar and Foreign" - features on Shewfelt's co-starring role in the film "White Palms" (November 2006) "My Year After Athens" - Shewfelt memoirs (August/September 2005) 2004 Olympic Games Special Issue - includes Shewfelt (October 2004) "The Style of Kyle" - profile (November 2003) Quick Chat: Kyle Shewfelt - interview (November 2002) "IG Profile: Kyle Shewfelt" (January 2001)
To subscribe to IG magazine or order back issues, click here.



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4 comments:

Dylan Glynn said...

In a previous online interview (this was from a few years back i think) you mentioned you were trying a new vault that you said was so scary you didn't think you would ever compete it. I was just wondering what that vault was because it seems you have more or less been sticking with the yurchenko 2.5. Sorry to get all interview on your blog but ever since i read that i've been wondering what that crazy vault was.

Kyle Shewfelt said...

I was trying a Yurchenko double with a half. I would push off the horse like a regular yurchenko and then do a half turn and a double front. It was super freaky and I decided that I would never be able to stand at the end of the vault, on a podium, in competition and feel confident enough to compete this. I don't want to die because of gymnastics! I am hoping that I can get back and work on Yurchenko triple twist for Olympics, but my main priority is being stable for the team. If I feel more confident with a 2.5 then I will continue to do it...first though, I have to be able to run down the runway! Baby steps.

K.

Sony Keys Gawley said...

Hey Kyle,

The two time world Ironman champion Lori Bowden once told me her biggest fear after having a baby was that she would never perform the way she would before post-partum. She was proven wrong and said that after time off she felt stronger and more focused than ever. I hope the same for you.

Supporting Kyle,

Sony Keys Gawley

Dana said...

Kyle, you are an awesome inspiration! Never stop being you!
d