What do you do when you break your wrist just days before making your Dew Tour debut? You opt for surgery and power on! That is exactly what Anna Valentine is doing.
Valentine is coming off of an incredible breakout season. Following a silver medal in the world junior championships, Valentine earned the USASA national championship title in women's snowboard halfpipe. The stellar season ultimately culminated with her being named to the U.S. Snowboarding rookie team.
However, Valentine caught the crew at Dew Tour off guard when she registered on site with a hard cast and a freshly broken wrist. Considering she had broken her scaphoid on December 2nd and underwent surgery on the 6th, Dew Tour had to pull her aside to get the status and complete update on her fresh injury.
Would you mind explaining what happened in a little more detail and where it happened?
I was having fun with some friends slacklining and ended up catching my thumb on the line when I fell, which bent it back.
What went through your mind immediately after you injured yourself? Did you know it was broken?
It didn’t feel like the broken wrists I've had before, so I assumed it wasn't broken. My best guess at the time was a sprained wrist or thumb. After I got home that night, my hand was looking swollen and turned some very interesting colors, that's when I started to get nervous.
What did you think was going to happen with regard to riding the rest of your season?
On my way to see the US Ski and Snowboard PT, I was getting freaked out because my hand was very swollen, bruised and stiff. The reality that something was definitely wrong with my hand was something I didn't really want to accept at the time. Though, as soon as I got checked out, it seemed optimistic that even if I did need surgery it would be short recovery time.
What was the process like with the doctors over the past week? Was it obvious you were going to need surgery, or was that a choice that you helped to make?
I went to get x-rayed on Monday, and shortly after discussing with Dr. Viola at the Steadman clinic (and my parents over the phone), I got scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. There was chance with just casting it that it wouldn't heal, so surgery made a lot of sense. It was a fairly quick process.
Did you get a plate and screws placed into your arm? If so, how many screws?
Just one screw through my scaphoid.
So, with surgery behind you, what is the status of the injury?
Healing up in a cast for a couple weeks, not sure exactly how many. In two weeks I go back in to get the cast taken off, my stitches taken out, and most likely recasted.
You mentioned at registration you absolutely plan to compete this week. How will this injury change your approach to riding at Dew Tour?
My run hopefully won't change too much, but a little bit of compromise in grabbing with my right hand. Trying not to let the injury get in my head is probably the biggest obstacle.
What are your goals for riding at Dew Tour?
Land a solid run that I can be proud of, and most importantly, have fun! It's hard to make goals for where I want to place because this is my first Dew Tour!
How about the Olympics? You were officially added to U.S. Snowboarding’s team for the first time following your great season and capturing the USASA national championship in women’s halfpipe. Has this injury altered your Olympic pursuits at all?
Not really, my goal this year isn't to make it to the Olympics. In a perfect world, if I ended up qualifying to go, that would be more than awesome! However, I really just want to get some solid finishes at larger competitions like the Dew Tour and Grand Prix, and make progress with trick goals.
Is there anything else you would like to add regarding competing at Dew Tour this week, or what’s next for you this season?
I'm stoked to be out here! I'm incredibly lucky to have such great support through my school at home in VT, Okemo Mountain school, so that I can be out here competing but still pursuing an education. And to U.S. Ski and Snowboard for my spot on the rookie team this year!