World Cup medalist Emil Soravuo’s Olympic dream crumbled to a mysterious Achilles injury, which even international doctors are wondering about | Sport

World Cup medalist Emil Soravuos Olympic dream crumbled to a

When Emil Soravuo was rehabilitating his lower back stress fracture in early 2022, one fear was above all others.

– I thought as long as there were no more injuries. Injuries that would prevent me from qualifying for the Paris Olympics, the gymnast recalls.

Now, when the Summer Games in Paris are less than half a year away, the worst fear has come true.

The 2021 World Cup medalist said at the press conference he organized on Thursday that he will not participate in the spring World Cup. It means that he cannot aim for a place in the Olympics starting at the end of July.

The hard decision came about as a result of the cycle of injuries. A year ago, in February 2023, the Achilles tendon of Soravuo’s left leg broke during training, when he made an effort to vault.

After the surgery, a long rehabilitation began, which seemed to be reaching the desired finish. However, a harmless situation that happened four months ago changed everything.

– At the end of the workout, I jumped off the exercise bike and walked to the gym. Suddenly a tremendous amount of pressure was released from the achilles. At first I thought it was a good thing, but the next day I couldn’t walk properly.

The magnetic images showed that there was a new tear in the Achilles tendon. It did not require surgery, but a new rehabilitation lasting several months.

A month after the accident, Soravuo, his background team and doctors decided that the pursuit of an Olympic place would be too big a risk.

– There was a risk that the Achilles would break again. That would mean that a fully focused sports career would end there.

Mysterious Achilles tendon

There is much unusual in Soravuo’s injury history, which has surprised experienced Orthopedics Oliver Michelsson too.

Both Achilles tendon ruptures happened without any advance warning, in completely harmless situations.

– My coach Roe (Kirmes) has watched many times on video the series where my achilles tendon initially broke. Nothing out of the ordinary happened there.

Also, the tears were in different places than usually in similar injuries. After the second rupture, Michelsson and his colleagues suspected the Achilles tendon visible in magnetic images. According to the doctor, it looked like an old, frayed rubber band in many places.

– Achilles looked very unusual. I asked many international colleagues for advice, but it was a mystery to them too, Michelsson told Soravuo’s press conference.

Rehabilitation of a new rupture takes at least half a year, possibly even a year, according to the doctor. There is no rush, as the goal is to get Soravuo in the same condition as before the injuries.

– I think there are good opportunities for that, Michelsson said.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.â€

The crumbling of the Olympic dream is a hard blow not only to Soravuo, but also to the Finnish Summer Olympic team, which does not have too many World Cup medalists in their sports.

– I experienced my greatest sorrow when Achilles snapped for the first time. I went through the most difficult feelings then. That’s when the thought came to mind that in the worst case, Paris will be missed, the athlete says.

In the cycle of injuries, the 2021 World Cup medal has also risen to a new value.

– The fact that I have experienced success helps me deal with these feelings. Of course, you wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Soravuo, who lives and trains at Urhea’s training center, profusely thanks his coaches, health care team and other support staff for their support.

The permanto specialist emphasizes that the fire to continue his career is strong. The goal is to return to compete in the Challenge Cup in the fall at the latest, having already taken a good break before.

26-year-old Soravuo hasn’t buried his Olympic dream either. The 2028 Games in Los Angeles are a distant dream.

– This sport has become a way of life. I don’t really see quitting as an option. The goal is to continue as long as the places last.