Russell in race against time - Bobsledder hopes for speedy return from injury to push for Olympic spot

September 30, 2021
File photo shows driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (right) and Carrie Russell of Jamaica start their first heat during the women’s two-man bobsled competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Russell is hoping a foot injury heals in time for her to resume competition for a Jamaica spot at the Beijing Winter Olympics next February.
File photo shows driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (right) and Carrie Russell of Jamaica start their first heat during the women’s two-man bobsled competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Russell is hoping a foot injury heals in time for her to resume competition for a Jamaica spot at the Beijing Winter Olympics next February.

Jamaica's female bobsledder Carrie Russell is in a race against time to get back in shape for the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, next February, as she recovers from a foot injury.

Russell will definitely miss the start of the season in November. She sustained the injury at the annual National Push Championship earlier this month, at the G.C. Foster College of Sport and Physical Education.

The incident left the athlete with an extremely deep cut, damaged tendons and nerves and a broken toe, ruling her out of competition for two months.

She accepts that she will not be able to start competing until midway in the season, but remains confident that once she can achieve 80 per cent fitness, she can secure a spot on Jamaica's team to the Beijing Games.

"At the Push Championship (September 4), the sled slipped and ran over my foot, ripped through the spikes and into my flesh, and I could see the whiteness at the bone," she recalled.

However, the initial treatment and diagnosis she received were not accurate and resulted in the wound being infected, which required minor surgery.

"I went every day to treat and clean it, but it was not coming on, as the area felt numb, so in my mind the small toe was broken. I was getting worried, as the doctor told me in three months I should be able to walk, and that bothered me because I know myself and I shouldn't take that long," she continued, noting she was later referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

"The surgeon said it was infected because when there is too much pressure on it, fluid comes out of it. So I had to do an emergency surgery to remove the whole of that area," she explained.

However, since the corrective procedure, she is happy to note that thing are improving rapidly.

"It is progressing faster than I thought it would. I just have to be patient. I can walk a little on it. I will be walking perfectly and running by mid-October," she predicted.

"I know I will have to miss the first half (season), so it is going to be a big challenge to come back and make it to the Olympics. But it is a challenge I am willing to face," she contends. "It is a tough challenge. But mentally I am healed, it is just to recover physically, and I am doing what I have to do and whatever needs to be done."

livingston.scott@ gleanerjm.com

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