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Davis faces elbow dislocation after bar accident

Lindsey Furniss

Jayna Bardahl, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

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DGS varsity gymnast senior Trudy Davis was competing her bar routine on Tuesday Jan. 3 when she suffered a sudden injury. The skill she was executing, formally called a “toe shoot,” was something Davis was familiar with and had even completed before.

To complete the skill, Davis would swing her legs around the low bar before launching herself up and forward to catch the high bar with her hands. However, this time Davis did not launch herself far enough forward–she had come up too short resulting in the dislocation of her left elbow.

Gymnasts are trained that in a situation like this, the safest thing to do is to fall flat on the stomach and land on the mat below. This type of action would prevent any injury to the arms. However, the mats at the Leyden High School gymnastics meet were not set up in a way that would brace Davis’ fall, forcing her to think fast according to Davis.

“The mat was only halfway under me, and I didn’t want to hurt my back, so I put my hands down, and I kind of stiff armed my fall. I guess my left hand just hit first, but it was the first injury I’ve ever seen. I watched it happen, so it was weird because I watched it just pop out,” Davis said.

Davis is not foreign to injuries; however, the majority of her past injuries have been to her ankles and none has she ever actually seen happen. Despite this, Davis described that in the moment she did not feel much pain.

“At first your adrenaline is rushing, so I didn’t really feel anything. It was hurting a little bit, but I was mostly just uncomfortable,” Davis said.

Although Davis seemed to keep her cool immediately after the fall, her teammate, varsity gymnast junior Abigail Carlson, described the atmosphere of everyone else in the room after the accident.

“The audience, coaches and team were all in shock. You could see that she was very hurt, and everyone was quiet as the trainers and coaches were with Trudy,” Carlson said.

After the fall, the Leyden High School athletic trainers rushed to Davis’ side. The trainer wrapped her arm at first, but it wasn’t until she got to the doctor that Davis received her final diagnosis of a dislocated elbow and a chipped ulna.

“I was relieved I didn’t break my forearm or anything because then I would have to get surgery. I am kind of glad it was just dislocated. I know that there was a chip, but I’m just more relieved that it’s not broken,” Davis said.

After being dislocated for two hours, Davis described herself as sitting in the emergency room in a “twilight” state of mind when the doctors popped her elbow back into place.

“They gave me pain meds, and then they knocked me out, but I wasn’t unconscious,” Davis said. “I don’t remember any of it. I was kind of awake so they popped it in and apparently I woke up for it and then went back to sleep, but I don’t remember any of it.”

Despite not needing any serious surgery, Davis’ injury is expected to take about six weeks to heal, meaning that she will be out for the remaining high school gymnastics season. However, Carlson highlighted how even though Davis will not be actively competing, she is still a positive asset to the team.

“Trudy is still going to be a huge part of our team even if she will not be competing. Her energy and positive encouragement is so motivating for our team,” Carlson said.

Even though Davis is a senior and she will be out for the remainder of the regular high school season, she will be completely healed and able to compete at the high school gymnastics national championship in May in Fort Myers, Florida. She described how she got the opportunity to compete at a meet of this magnitude.

“You get nominated and you have to have a certain requirement of skills, like above level nine skills, and then you kind of get picked…One of the head coaches, coach Campos, is on the Illinois team, so she is kind of organizing it and she introduced me to it,” Davis said.

Despite such a recent injury, Davis expressed her excitement to recover and have the opportunity to compete again at nationals. She voiced that she has no fear of what will happen once she gets to put on her leotard and step on the mat again.

“I was on bars, and I love bars, and I’ve gotten hurt on bars many times before,” Davis said. “I’ve never been the type to get fear issues I guess.”

As for the remaining athletes competing with the varsity gymnastics team, they intend to maintain the same goals as they created in the beginning of the season and always perform to the best of their abilities.

“I just have to tell my team that we are going to fight and be strong at every meet and every routine. Our goals for the season have not changed, as a team we are ready to work hard and step up to give the best performances we can,” Carlson said.

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Davis faces elbow dislocation after bar accident