5 Female Athletes Who Have Come Back From Injuries to Achieve Success
We've talked a lot here about great athletes who have successfully returned from major shoulder and knee surgeries to achieve great things upon the fields of friendly strife. Today, let's shift focus to the ladies.
These 5 superstars have captured our hearts, minds, and imaginations by reaching the heights of their sport. Additionally, they've done it after returning from a major injury, either ascending to greatness, or, in some cases, re-claiming their place at the top of the pantheon.
1. Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan has become one of the most recognizable stars for the perennial champion U.S. Women's Soccer team. Blessed with fluid athleticism and a deft touch while starring in the high-profile, high-pressure position of STRIKER, Alex has been at the front of the attack for the National Team for several years now, and she figures to the "face" of U.S. Soccer for years to come.
Alex led the USA to yet another World Cup Victory in 2015, and, now that the men have been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup, America's hopes for more soccer glory rest squarely on the shoulders of the women.
Like many high-level athletes, Alex has dealt with her fare share of injuries, including ankle troubles, a knee contusion, MCL sprain and, most recently, a hamstring injury. But her most "heavy" injury was an ACL tear, suffered while she was a senior in high school.
Alex bounced back quickly from the injury and continued her trajectory towards greatness. After a successful surgery and rehab, she was back on the field within 5 months.
In this day and age, it's possible to bounce back from a major knee injury and continue to play at a high level. If you are coping with an injury, Alex is a great example for you. Keep working, keep striving, and keep doing the activities you love.
2. Maria sharapova
One of women's professional tennis biggest stars for years, Sharapova is blessed with a scintillating blend of skill, precision, and talent. But like the other athletes on this list, she suffered a major injury earlier in her career.
For Sharapova, the injury in question was a torn rotator cuff, in 2008. Although recovery from this injury was fairly unheard of in professional tennis at the time, Sharapova was able to not only recover, but she also became the #1 ranked player in the world a mere three years after the injury.
3. Serena Williams
Speaking of tennis greats, how about the greatest women's player of all time, Serena Williams? In 2015-2016, Williams had to deal with recurring shoulder and knee injuries. Nobody likes to deal with nagging injuries, but imagine being an athlete at the top of your game and suddenly having to drop out of tournaments because of injuries.
But you know how this story ends. Serena returned and won the Australian Open in 2017 to set the all time record for grand slam singles titles. When it comes to achieving greatness, even injuries couldn't slow Serena down, and she's a great inspiration for young athletes who are dealing with injuries of their own.
4. Sue Bird
One of the WNBA's most decorated players, Sue Bird has been an excellent ambassador the league for an entire generation of fans, both on and off the court.
Between 2007-2013, Bird had four surgeries, including her knee, her hip labrum, and several on her nasal bone. Recently, Sue also dealt with a knee injury that kept her out of the Storm's early season (2017) games.
However, Bird returned with a flourish, being named to her 10th WNBA All-Star game and breaking the league record for assists. When it comes to setting up her teammates for an easy bucket, nobody in history has done it better than Bird.
5. Lindsey Vonn
You didn't think we'd be able to do this list without including Lindsey, did you? Skiing's golden girl has recovered from multiple injuries, including multiple ACL and MCL tears, a broken arm, and a fractured ankle, among others.
How does she keep returning better than ever through all these injuries? Hard work and determination are the key ingredients that keep her at the top of women's alpine skiing each and every year.
And, clearly, she is one of the most talented racers to ever grace the podium. She just loves to go fast, and when we look back at Lindsey's long career, the injuries will fade from memory-- and those visits to the podium are what we will remember the most.