Ice Poses Unforgiving Obstacle for Skaters

We've seen a few tumbles on the ice since Olympic figure skating began but even perfect landings can cause injuries.

The dreams began early for Marlo Lundak.

She said, “I'm a novice and it goes novice, junior, senior."

The 17-year-old spends most mornings at Mclean Ice Arena at Hitchcock Park while many of us are still asleep.

“I started taking group lessons when I was four," she said.

We can trace back her passion for skating to those early days. The sacrifice, besides out-of-state competitions three or four times a year, she's on the ice every morning before school for 90-minutes.

The closest she's been to an Olympian came last year at the CenturyLink in Omaha for the USA figure skating nationals. She's posed with gold medalist Tara Lipinski and she took a medal to current Olympian Ashley Wagner. She's never thought much about injury until recently.

The Gross High Junior said, “I've never fallen hard enough where I had to get off the ice. I have seen some where people trip and fall and have to get stitches underneath their chin. But that's never happened to me."

A year ago she felt pain in her right hip. She had a pre-stress fracture in the femur and a torn labrum in the hip joint. It's from years of landing her jumps on the same leg.

Dr. Mark Dietrich, at UNMC, said, “When we're jumping and coming down on hard surfaces like ice, the forces against all our joints in the body are pretty high."

This isn't Dr. Dietrich’s case but the orthopaedic surgeon says this can be a more common injury in skaters than for the rest of us.

Marlo is currently preparing for this month's winter festival. She says she’d put soccer and cheerleading on the back burner if she can just keep skating because, “it's worth it."

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