Last week, Berkley Brown ’18 returned to CDS to share her journey of becoming a world-class athlete with students in our High-Performance Phys-Ed Program. After experiencing a highly successful 2017 with many accolades, including an invitation to the Canadian National Moguls Team, Berkley faced a major setback when she tore her ACL in a fall. She was back in the classroom to share how her outlook has changed, and what she is doing now to get back on the slopes in time for the Olympics.
A skier since the age of seven, Berkley earned the Canada call after five seasons with Team Ontario and finishing first overall at the 2017 International Ski Federation’s Nor-Am Cup, the first Canadian to win it since 2012.
She spent last year adapting to the new schedule and training of the National Team while continuing on the Nor-Am tour where she finished fourth. “I used this year’s tour as an opportunity to try and improve and work on new tricks [in preparation for the World Cup].”
Her first stop on the World Cup circuit was close to home in Mont Tremblant, where she missed qualifying for the final by one spot after finishing 17th, followed by an unfortunate fall at the following event in Calgary.
Last summer, Berkley spent her off-season in Whistler, BC, France, Australia and Zermatt, Switzerland in preparation for the first events of the 2019 World Cup. While in Zermatt, she experienced an unfortunate fall on a jump and tore her right Anterior Cruciate Ligament, a very common injury for athletes in her sport. Berkley had already torn her left ACL in Grade 8, so she knew all about the long road to recovery.
Berkley is now tapping into the same motivation she has enjoyed her entire life to get back on skis and the mountain as soon as possible. Her goal is to be back training by May through heavily focusing on daily rehabilitation and strength and conditioning at the Canadian Sports Institute of Ontario in Scarborough. Right now, she is working on muscle activation by walking on a treadmill in a pool. “Simple things are really important and I’m excited to finally get my full range of motion back – that’s very promising.”
Facing this injury and long road to recovery a second time has not dampened Berkley’s spirits. “I’m mentally prepared to get back to normal, I’m not too worried about it as it actually happened at a good time. I’ll miss this season and keep preparing in the off-season, as opposed to rushing back or missing an entire second season.”
This positive mindset has really helped Berkley to aim high and attain her goals, this time with her sights set specifically on the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.