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They believe their relationship is a key part of the performance that they give on including the British pair Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland. By Hiro Yoshida For Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland, one moment on June 24, turned their whole world upside down. But their problems were not over. Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland from Great Britain perform during their free ice dance skating.
I had the idea of doing this video diary and showing people what it is like and what we have to go through when we are injured. The rehabilitation process was physically tough and mentally frustrating. I actually have to take medication every day for my knee because I have something called chronic regional pain syndrome. Then I had to wean off it, so the brace was initially locked and they give you a certain angle to bend it in and then they unlock it a little more.
This provided her with the inspiration she needed to continue at just the right time. Through that I got to meet some incredible people. I met a Paralympian who had been through so much and had an awful illness. He put a lot of things in perspective for me.
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He inspired me and enlightened me and made me feel positive again. He got told he would never be able to walk or speak again and he can do those things. He came into my life at the right time and made me feel better about everything.Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland - Card Game (English Subs)
He filled up his free time with coaching, choreography and assisting a young British team prepare for competition. It also afforded him an opportunity to take advantage of the situation and fix a minor injury that had plagued him the previous season.
Penny was in a different place. I would come back and we would be in it together and then I would go off and do my own thing for the rest of the day.
I had a chance to start rehabbing. Although there were moments when she wondered if skating again was worth all the effort, those doubts evaporated immediately.
I think the reason why I did that was because I loved it so much. I was kind of heartbroken that it had done this to me again. I got back on the ice and I balled like a baby because I was so happy. If anything, I think this injury has taught me how much I love what I do and how lucky I am to do what I do.
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It was doing what she had been told was not possible that spurred Coomes on even more. Nobody thought I would make Europeans.
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Literally nobody and that made me want to do it even more. I really pushed myself and I worked so hard with my physio and I was at a stage where everything was ready. I just needed to start doing the run-throughs. I could do all the elements. I was really happy. However, she soon suffered another setback.
I was on the ice and I was doing a set of twizzles. By now her muscles were atrophied and doctors were concerned whether she had the strength to skate. And I believed her. I was so nervous initially stepping onto the ice, but then I just skated off and burst into tears. Although Coomes could skate and train again, the thin wires threading through and holding her fragile knee together were aggravating the tendons.
By Januarytraining left her in constant pain, leaving the pair with an agonising dilemma. The changing face of figure skating But pushing through to March on medication risked further inflaming the tendons, and a long layoff. However, a second operation to remove the wires meant being off the ice till April, leaving them with just one chance to qualify for PyeongChang; a last-chance saloon style competition in September in the small resort of Obsterhaf, Germany, where the final five Olympic slots are made available.
The Olympics seemed very far away.
But as she tried to regain her strength, she had to relearn from scratch many of the innate muscle memories most elite ice dancers take for granted. In their first event for almost two years, Buckland and Coomes produced one of the finest performances of their career to not only qualify, but win the entire competition.
Remarkably, given what was at stake, they described the experience as simply enjoying the thrill of competitive skating again. I think we kind of knew that, but as athletes you never think that way.
But after finishing seventh at the NRK Trophy in November, they came to the realisation their freedance, choreographed to Battle Remembered by Yo-Yo Ma, was not up to scratch for the biggest competition of their lives.