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A head injury has forced London-area skateboarder Sophie Grant to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics this month.
The 21-year-old was performing a trick earlier this year for a Team Canada video in San Diego, Calif., where she was living, when she fell off her board and struck the back of her head on the ground, she said.
“I continued skating only because the headaches were gone, and I felt OK," she said Friday. "But clearly, I wasn’t because when I want to go skate (a few days later), I was feeling dizzy and off. I actually fell and tore ligaments in my leg . . . nearly snapping it.”
Grant said she didn't receive proper treatment until she was back in Canada about three months later. After seeking treatment near her family's home in St. Thomas, she was diagnosed with a concussion and forced to withdraw from all competitions.
“I’m pretty bummed. I definitely cried, but there’s a bright side to this. I’m just going to hang onto that and kick the disappointment and keep going," she said.
Grant was expected to make her debut as one of 12 athletes on Canada’s first national skateboarding team, competing in the street division, where athletes perform tricks on rails and obstacles.
Despite the cancellation, she said she plans to come back stronger for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
“They (the national Canadian skateboarding team) want to try and forward me to Paris 2024. I’m just going to train and train and train. By that time, I’ll be 24 years old.”
Just this past week, her doctor gave her the green light to start skating again, she said. She will return to San Diego at the end of August.
“I’m looking forward to skating and being able to go back to normal life and get out to California to see friends and learn. I’m really just excited to be back on my board and feeling confident again," she said.
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press