Injury update: Dorien Llewellyn makes return to practice, looks sharp on his slalom ski
Feels good to be back (image: @dorienllewellyn)
By Jack Burden
Dorien Llewellyn made his return to training at Sunset Lakes over the weekend as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury that sidelined him since June of this year.
A twisted ankle during a jump crash at the LA Night Jam on June 10 left Llewellyn with two torn ligaments and bone fragments in his right foot. This injury forced him to miss the entire 2023 WWS Overall Tour and all subsequent jump events on the Waterski Pro Tour.
Instead of competing, Llewellyn spent the summer undergoing intensive rehab at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Center in Austria. Unfortunately, this injury was part of a series of setbacks he faced this year, which also caused him to miss the U.S. Masters earlier in the season.
Llewellyn, the current world trick champion and former world overall record holder, plays a crucial role on Team Canada’s squad for the upcoming World Championships, where they aim to secure their third consecutive team title. With only six skiers on the squad, having at least two world-class overall skiers is essential to ensure depth in all three events. Canada’s success over the past three decades has been built on skiers like the Llewellyns (Kreg, Jaret, and later Dorien) and the McClintocks (Judy and Whitney), who have excelled across all three events.
In contrast, the U.S. has faced challenges in the team competition despite having some of the most dominant specialists in the sport, including Freddy Krueger, Nate Smith, Anna Gay, and Erika Lang. While they have an all time great in Regina Jaquess on the women’s side, the U.S. has not claimed a medal in men’s overall since Jimmy Siemers won his last world title in 2005.
Canada received encouraging signs as Llewellyn tackled the slalom course at close to 100 percent in training just four weeks before the World Championships. To defend their title, they will rely on him returning to near-full fitness by the start of the event.