Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Urgent Appeal for ACLs

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

It was revealed last weekend in Val d'Isere that US skiing superstar Lindsey Vonn has re-torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that she originally tore at the World Championships last February. It appears that either the doctor who performed her original surgery did not do a very good job, or Vonn came back too quickly and damaged her ACL. Either way, it seems like ACLs just don't last very long with her and she is now in need of another one before the 2014 Winter Olympics. The International Ski Federation (FIS) is putting out an urgent appeal to all of the racers in the World Cup to donate an ACL to Lindsey so that she will be able to compete in the Olympics with a healthy knee. We sent one of our intrepid reporters to Vail to try and talk with Lindsey. She was not available, but her physical therapist Patrick was willing to talk to us. Let's find out what Patrick has to say.

BB: When did you start asking the other World Cup skiers to donate their ACLs to Lindsey?
Patrick: Right after last weekend's downhill race in Val d'Isere. She did not finish the race because she felt like her knee did not hold up. We felt that since her ACL was gone, we needed to find a new one for her as soon as possible so that she is ready for the Olympics in Sochi.
BB: Have any of the other racers stepped up to give Lindsey one of their ACLs?
Patrick: Not yet. But I'm sure they will. After all, they gave Lindsey all of their medals from Schladming. (see this story)
BB: There is a big difference between a medal and an ACL. A person can live without a world championship or Olympic medal. It is very difficult to walk properly, let alone ski, when you are missing an ACL. 
Patrick: Neither of those statements is true. Medals are very important for establishing a legacy. The more medals that Lindsey has, the bigger her final legacy will be. She cannot live without her medals and crystal globes. As to being without an ACL, Lindsey even said, "Who needs an ACL anyway?"
BB: Exactly. Please tell our readers why the other World Cup racers should give Lindsey an ACL if she really thinks that she doesn't need one.
Patrick: As everyone knows, Lindsey said that athletes are only known through their records. Lindsey needs a healthy ACL to be able to establish her legacy and set the bar so high that nobody else in the future will be able to catch her.
BB: Are you implying that the other World Cup racers are not as important as Lindsey?
Patrick: Well everyone knows that's true! The World Cup just isn't the same without her.
BB: You are right. There is a lot less drama among the women this season and a lot more sportsmanship and friendly behavior. 
Patrick: The only reason the other women are winning this season is because Lindsey has hardly competed. When she did, she was not at her best because of her knee.
BB: Come on, the reason the other women won was because they were the best that day. 
Patrick: Lindsey does not just want to break Annemarie Moser-Proell's women's World Cup victory record. She wants to break Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86 wins. She also wants to win another Olympic downhill gold medal. Silver or bronze just isn't good enough for her.
BB: The other racers would also like to win medals in Sochi. 
Patrick: I'm sure they do. But the racers from the other countries are all interchangeable and nobody will remember them four years from now. But Lindsey wants to be remembered forever, and the others must do all they can to help ensure that she is.
BB: Getting back to convincing the others to donate an ACL...Are you asking just the women to donate one or the men too?
Patrick: Anyone who wants to donate an ACL is welcome to. It doesn't matter if donor ACLs come from a man or woman.
BB: If Lindsey does get a donor ACL from a man, would she be eligible to compete in men's races?
Patrick: If Lindsey does end up with a man's ACL, she will apply to the FIS to compete in men's races. After all, she will have a man's part inside of her.
BB: Uh...You might want to rephrase that last sentence. 
Patrick:  What I meant was if she has a male ACL in her knee, she should be able to compete in men's races.
BB: That's better. We don't want to give our readers the wrong impression of the Blickbild. Anyway, assuming that Lindsey gets a new ACL as a Christmas present, do you think she will be ready to compete in Sochi?
Patrick: Definitely! She was way ahead of schedule in her original rehab and was training to run a marathon within a month after her surgery last winter. Lindsey is a superhuman rehabber who only needs one week to prepare for the Olympics.
BB: What about ski racing fans or members of her fan club? Surely they want to see Lindsey succeed and would do anything for her to win a gold medal in Sochi.
Patrick: She will take an ACL from anyone, though she prefers one from a fellow racer because it would help to eliminate the competition for finishing on the top podium step. But I'm sure she will accept one from a member of her fan club. In fact, we would like to have as many donor ACLs as possible so that we can stockpile them.
BB: How many ACLs does a person need? There is  one per knee and people only have two knees.
Patrick: We want to have plenty in reserve so that when she tears her donated ACL from trying to come back too quickly, and requires another new one, she will have one all ready to go.
BB: I see.  She does seem to be rather hard on her ACLs.  It sounds like a good idea to have some in reserve. (short pause) Let's say that nobody in the World Cup wants to give up an ACL to Lindsey. Will any Mafia hit men be involved in getting the others to donate?
Patrick: I hope that it doesn't come down to calling Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli. It would be great if the other racers donated their ACLs because they realize that it's the right thing to do.
BB: Let's say that Vinnie's brand of persuasion has no effect. Would you resort to invading other countries to get donor ACLs?
Patrick: Tina Weirather is currently leading the overall standings, so if we had to invade a country to get an ACL, Liechtenstein would be the perfect place. It is small, so we would not require a large invasion force.
BB: We saw what happened last summer when a special military unit was formed to invade Slovenia. The invaders could not even find Slovenia and ended up in Moscow and then somewhere in Siberia. They still have not come back. Liechtenstein is much smaller than Slovenia. Would any invading force even be able to find Liechtenstein on a map?
Patrick: I hope that nobody has to invade Liechtenstein to get an ACL for Lindsey. It would be much harder to find than Slovenia.
BB: What is Lindsey doing in the meantime?
Patrick: I have her on a special regimen to strengthen the muscles around her knee. Even without an ACL, she will have the strongest legs in the World Cup. She will probably make her big comeback in Cortina in January.
BB: How many comebacks can one person make? 
Patrick: Every comeback that she makes will be even more spectacular. Just wait and see how she does in Cortina!
BB: We can't wait. Well Patrick, it looks like we are just about out of time. It was a very interesting interview with you, as always. I hope that you are successful in your quest for a new ACL for Lindsey. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: We won't give up our ACLs without a fight!

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