AST 2020 Athlete Journal: Tora Hoshizaki

Hey everyone! Now that the ski season has begun I hope you’re all taking advantage of the early snow. The team is currently training hard at Nakiska to prepare for races in Colorado and Sun Peaks! Now when I say the team, I mean everyone except for me! For those who don’t know, I suffered a hip dislocation in mid September during the pre-season training camp in Chile. Although it has been a major setback, I’m working hard to get back on skis as soon as possible.

Now some of you may be thinking, how do you dislocate a hip while skiing? Great question! Well apparently all it takes are some tired muscles and a slight misplacement of your ski tip. It happened on the last day of a very exhausting camp in Chile. I came around for my last run expecting to end the trip on a high note, but my skis felt otherwise. When I was skiing through the flush, my tip caught on the second pin and my right leg flew up into the air. My left leg crashed into the third pin, sending me tumbling forward. When my right knee hit the snow, the impact was so great that it forced my hip out of its socket. I was lying on my side in complete shock. My mind was telling my leg to move, but my body couldn’t respond. I could wiggle my toes and I could feel my leg, but it was stuck in a bent position. Fear set in and I started screaming for my coaches.

By the time the ski patrol were able to get to me, I was in excruciating pain. Any minor movement sent shooting pain all over my body, and it was then that I realized the journey off the volcano was not going to be easy. And boy was I right! Since the bumps on the hill were causing me too much pain, the ski patrol had to lift the sled off the snow and carry it all the way to the bottom. (that’s 250lbs for 15mins!) Once I made it down, the ambulance was waiting for me and we started heading to the hospital. The road into town was filled with bumps, traverses, rocks and turns. All this made for a painful drive, not to mention the constant jerking of the stick shift. It was a rough 50 minutes to Villarica, but I was assured the hip specialist there would provide the care I needed.

When I woke up in the hospital, my hip was back in place and I felt so much relief. Now it was time to start the trip back to Canada. After a 12 hour bus ride, 14 hours of flying, and a 3 hour car trip back to Edmonton, I was very glad to be home. Luckily, two days later I was able to see Dr. Duffy who instructed me to take 6 weeks of rest. On Oct 28th I got cleared to start physio and light exercise. I’m happy to say that I’ve been progressing quickly and I hope to be skiing by the new year!

         I would like to thank everyone who has supported me the past few months including the ski patrol, doctors and nurses in Chile, all my teammates,   Dr. Duffy, Amy Bauerle at Group23, Nathaniel Morris at CSI, and most importantly my family and coaches! I would also like to thank my sponsors Sporting Life, Pro Sport Protection, Descente International, Silvertip Resort, Nakiska Ski Resort and our most recent sponsor Lone Star Mercedes-Benz! Lastly, I would like to thank my personal sponsor Mixcor! I’m so glad to be partnered with them this year! I look forward to getting back on snow, but for now I’ll be busy in the gym!

Hope to see you soon,

Tora Hoshizaki 🙂