Kristina Groves Will Miss the Rest of the Speed Skating Season

Four time Olympic medalist Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) has decided that she will miss the rest of the 2010-11 speed skating season in order to fully recover from the concussion she suffered on November 21st in Berlin. The Canadian skater has been sidelined since then as she is still suffering mild symptoms from the concussion.

“After sustaining a concussion and whiplash injury from a fall in a World Cup Team Pursuit race in Berlin, I have spent the last 2 months recovering in Calgary,” announced Kristina Groves in a teleconference. “I have subsequently missed 9 weeks of training and racing, and thus have decided at this point to take the rest of the season off to focus on fully recovering and returning to training in an intelligent way instead of rushing to regain top form for the upcoming competitions.”

Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is supportive of Groves’ decision, as the international schedule during the winter months is very grueling. With three World Cups and two World Championships left to run starting this weekend and before the middle of March, it leaves very little time for athletes to rest, and rushing to get back to form could be a risk of sustaining a more serious injury.

“Although it is disappointing to be done for the season, this injury came at a time when I knew I needed to take a break, so in a sense, it was good timing,” continued an optimistic Groves. “Even in some ways, I feel this is a blessing in disguise. I have improved significantly in recent weeks and have begun doing some light exercise. I feel confident that I’ll be back 100% soon. I look forward to having this time away from skating to recover from the injury, but also to recover from the last several years of intense training and focus leading up to the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver last year.”

It is frequent for high level athletes to take a break following the Olympic Winter Games. Kristina Groves, just like all of Canada’s top racers who are still active, decided to keep training and racing through the season. This forces her to take a step back, but it also gives her the chance to enjoy some much needed rest and time for reflection on her future plans.