Injury update: Lauren Morgan undergoes follow-up knee surgery, 2024 season uncertain
“Knee surgery #2 let’s do it” (image: @lauren.a.morgan)
By Jack Burden
Renowned American jump skier Lauren Morgan underwent critical knee surgery yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, aiming to overcome persistent issues stemming from an injury sustained in September 2022. The 30-year-old athlete, America’s number one ranked female jumper for much of the past decade, has been grappling with the aftermath of an ACL injury, forcing her to miss a substantial part of the 2023 season. Unfortunately, it appears Morgan will remain on the sidelines throughout 2024 as well.
The former World Games and U.S. Masters champion finished third at the World Championships in October last year, a mere 12 months after undergoing ACL surgery. Morgan missed almost the entire 2023 season, competing only in the World Championships and a warm-up tournament at Jack Travers’ two weekends prior. Despite participating in only two tournaments the entire year, only five women posted higher jump scores than Morgan in 2023.
Expressing her joy at the podium finish last year, Morgan stated, “I really can’t believe it; my goal was to be back. I didn’t want to just be back; I wanted to be on the podium. I couldn’t be happier, and I’m excited for next year.” Unfortunately, the persistence of her injury has dashed those hopes for the 2024 season.
In the face of adversity, Morgan shared an inspiring quote before the recent surgery, encapsulating her mindset: “When it comes to doing something hard but necessary: Don’t focus on how you’ll feel in the moment, focus on how you’ll feel when it’s done.”
While Morgan faces a challenging road to recovery, she continues to stay engaged off the water. Balancing an intensive rehabilitation regimen, she is concurrently pursuing her studies as a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
The women’s jump skiing landscape has been marred by injuries in recent years, with Morgan, along with Brittany Greenwood, Taryn Grant, and Valentina Gonzalez, missing substantial portions of the 2023 season. Additionally, world record holder Jacinta Carroll took time off for the birth of her first child. The challenges posed by injuries underscore the sport’s physical demands and the tenacity required of its athletes.