Valentina Gonzalez makes her return to the water after sustaining an ankle injury late last year

Injury Update: Valentina Gonzalez Returns to Water, On Track for 2024 Comeback


Injury update: Valentina Gonzalez returns to water, on track for 2024 comeback

Valentina Gonzalez makes her return to the water after sustaining an ankle injury late last year

“First day officially back on the water” (image: @valegonzalez)

By Jack Burden

Valentina Gonzalez celebrated a significant milestone yesterday as she returned to the water for the first time since her season-ending injury in September of the previous year. In a recent Instagram post, the Chilean athlete expressed her gratitude for the valuable lessons learned during the challenging four months of recovery and her unwavering determination to return stronger than ever.

Gonzalez, who finished 5th in women’s jump on the Waterski Pro Tour and is currently ranked within the top 10 for both jump and overall, sustained a severe ankle injury during jump practice in the lead up to the record setting Malibu Open. Since undergoing surgery back home in Chile in late September, she has undergone a rigorous routine of over 65 sessions of physical therapy, hyperbaric chamber sessions, gym workouts, and biomechanics sessions.

Reflecting on the emotional toll of missing the two most anticipated tournaments of her career, the 2023 World Championships and Pan American Games, Gonzalez emphasized her commitment to turning the page and concentrating on physical and mental preparation for the upcoming year.

Expressing her eagerness to return to the sport she loves, Gonzalez shared her heightened enthusiasm, stating that she was “more hungry than ever to get back to doing what I like most. There is very little left!!!”

In a symbolic moment, Gonzalez posted a video capturing her first set back on her trick ski since the accident last September. The video showcased her skills, executing multiple flips on her home lake, Lago Valle Maipo. Gonzalez conveyed her excitement at being back on the water after nearly four months, underscoring how much she missed the invigorating feeling of being on the lake.

This triumphant return marks the end of a challenging chapter for Gonzalez, which she has referred to as the “four most difficult months of my career.” With her sights set on upcoming competitions, Valentina Gonzalez is poised to reclaim her position as one of the most promising young talents in women’s jump.