Laura Wilkinson - Olympic Hopes In Question
Olympic Hopes in Question
Wilkinson's dream of competing in the 2000 Olympics almost came to an end months before the Olympics began. In March 2000 she hit her right foot against a wooden board that she was jumping off of to practice her dives on dry land. She fractured three metatarsal bones and would require surgery.
The next day her coach, Ken Armstrong, knocked on her door at six o'clock in the morning and told her that he did not care if her foot had been amputated, she was going to the Olympics. There was no way that Wilkinson could have the surgery and still be ready to compete in time for the Olympics, so a cast was put on and the bones were allowed to fuse and heal just as they were. This resulted in a knot of bone on the bottom of her foot that felt, she said, like walking on a rock. The cast stayed on until just weeks before the Olympic trials, but Wilkinson used visualization and other dry-land practices to stay in the best shape that she could.