Britain’s Rowan Cheshire isn’t the only Olympian to be forced to miss their competition due to brain injuries in this year’s Sochi games, but she guaranteed she would be one of the most talked about injured Olympians when she posted a selfie shortly after the accident that took her out of the competition.
The 18-year-old British skier was slated to compete in the women’s half-pipe ski competition today, but she took a terrible fall during training on February 16. After landing face-first on the half-pipe, she was diagnosed with a concussion and began recovering for a short period in a hospital.
It was what she decided to do when Cheshire woke up in the hospital the next day that gained her injury international attention. Cheshire is on Twitter, as many Olympians are, so she posted a selfie from her hospital bed, while thanking everyone for positive wishes, and saying she doesn’t remember much from her injury.
Wasn't the best day yesterday, still don't remember much! Thanks everyone for the lovely messages pic.twitter.com/qVG8eET3BV
— Rowan Cheshire (@Rowan_C_) February 17, 2014
Unfortunately, despite leaving the hospital the next day, Olympic guidelines still barred Cheshire from competing, and she was forced to withdraw for the sake of her health.
Under internationally agreed upon guidelines for concussions and other brain injuries, the minimum recovery period before an athlete can return to competition is six days. Rowan Cheshire’s injury was only four days before her event. Cheshire and her team made the decision public, in a statement saying, “With a concussion injury there needs to be a rest period followed by a graduated return to play phase. The time scale is unfortunately too tight for Rowan.”
Freestyle Skiing Head Coach Pat Sharples added, “She is only 18-years-old, however, and has a bright future ahead of her. I have no doubt she will be backin four years time more determined than ever.”
Given that Rowan Cheshire was a medal contender, it won’t be any surprise to see her standing on a podium four years from now.