The season of British Ice Dance 2017-18 was a busy one with Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland returning from a year off due to injury. Coomes suffered a multipart patellar fracture in June 2016 whilst training in the US. She had surgery at the Princess Grace Hospital in June 2016 and January 2017 under the expert care of Prof Fares Haddad and has been managed back to sport by ISEH’s Clinical Specialist Physio (and lead GB ice skating Physio) Terassa Taylor-Kaveney.
Here Terassa reports on her very busy year in the life of a British Figure Skating Physiotherapist:
"Coomes and Buckland's first job back on the elite circuit was to qualify for the Olympics at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Obersdorf: due to their enforced year off the normal process of entry through World Championships was missed. They performed brilliantly making a hard hitting return, winning the competition and firmly announcing they were back. The season continued with varied success- winning at some competitions and not quite making the position they wanted in others. Injury management and rehabilitation was a constant component of scheduling. The normal training and competition cycle required carefully calculated periodization, with myself working extremely closely with both the athletes and coaching staff every step of the way. The is level of input required trips out to the US on nearly a monthly basis as well as attending all competitions.
In December Coomes and Buckland decided to change and re-choreograph their free dance routine: no small undertaking 6weeks before European Championships, especially considering the extra physical load this would place on Coomes. However, the change worked to their strengths and was met with more consistent higher marks with the judges.
From Moscow Europeans in January to Olympics South Korea in February, always accompanied by myself athough on this occasion with the additional role as official Figure Skating Team Leader. Again this month at the games took careful planning, with training based in Seoul and Gangneung (the costal Olympic site) with variations in facilities and environment all details had to be managed.
Coomes and Buckland put out a great performance in both the short and free dance, giving a great display of their technical ability as well as a crowd pleasing show. Unfortunately the couple did not place where they wanted, and much discussion was had as always with aesthetically judged sports. However the road to recovery was met with success, definitely evidencing that the hard work and determination of a strong team working with a common goal can produce amazing results; producing an Olympian from a career ending injury.
This is where their season ended for Coomes and Buckland (as with many athletes after a very full Olympics season), allowing the next generation of ice dancers to attend World Championships in Milan: Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson. The young couple performed well as gave a taste of exciting performances to come. I headed up the medical side for the competition, managing the care of the six British athletes competing across singles, pairs and ice dance. As always the physio was kept busy but all went well successfully ending a very busy year in the life of a British Figure Skating Physiotherapist".