Although 2012 Mexican Olympian Elsa Garcia was unable to compete at the recent world championships in Glasgow after she injured her knees in training there, she told IG she is optimistic that she can recover in time for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Garcia at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning
"I am working to give myself a second Olympic experience, learning from past mistakes and making the best out of it," she said.
Garcia injured her knees when she landed a 1-1/1 twisting Yurchenko vault in the warm-up hall during Mexico’s day of podium training in Glasgow.
"When I landed, both of my knees went backwards," she said. "My left knee did go back but not as much as my right knee. I have been wearing a knee brace for about three-and-a-half weeks, and am now starting the strength and mobility process."
Garcia said the diagnosis for her left knee was a minor hyper-extension of her lateral ligaments, which are now fine. Her right knee, however, "ad more things going on," she said.
"I ruptured my medial collateral ligament, and the outer lateral collateral ligament also got damaged but not as much," Garcia said. "My ACL was fine and that was a relief, but the posterior cruciate ligament got a bit injured as well, and my bones got swollen up because of the impact."
Garcia said she is slowly regaining power in her right knee, and looks forward to resuming training in the next several weeks.
"I have been working on my strength conditioning a lot since I got back from Glasgow," she said. "It´s the only thing I´ve been able to do. The first step was to immobilize the right knee with a knee brace (cast) for about three-and-a-half weeks. Second is to regain mobility and gradually work on the strength. I think I will be able to start with gymnastics gradually, by late December or the first of January."
Although Garcia did not compete in Glasgow, she said seeing her rivals perform there helped her clarify the improvements and changes she wants to make to her routines on all four apparatuses.
"I think I have to mainly strengthen both of my vaults," she told IG. "I can upgrade my bars routine, if all goes well, work on consistency and cleanliness on beam, and add a few upgrades on floor. All of this can be possible with a strong mind and a healthy body, and I am working on both of them very much."
Read in-depth coverage of the 2015 World Championships in the December 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, or subscribe to the print and/or digital edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.