Tara gets mentioned a lot in these conversations. She appears not to have any long-term effects of her hip injuries. She’s always in heels on the NBC broadcast! Now with her adult perspective twenty years later, she’s not wishing she could trade in all of her career achievements so she could have avoided hip surgery. She seemed overjoyed for Alysa. She didn’t watch it and think “She should’t be doing this! We must protect this girl from one day having to have hip surgery!” There is definitely balance needed, obviously. But it’s wrong to decide for these athletes outright that they can’t go for their dreams because of an abundance of caution. With the right coaching and technique, it can be done safely.
Also, I think pairs is waaaaay more dangerous than anything the singles skaters are doing.
I think it’s interesting that ballet gets brought up I’m these discussions. There are definitely ballerinas dancing professionally who started pointe at young ages. They would not be professional dancers if they had waited until they were 12 years old to try on pointe shoes. Misty Copeland is the very rare talent who can just start dancing at age 15 and make it professionally. There are dancers who burn out as teenagers. There are dancers who just stop dancing because they want to. There are dancers who have 20 year careers in professional companies. It really comes down to having good teachers and technique, the drive for it, plus sheer luck. I know plenty of people who started pointe as kids, and none of them had injuries that affect their adult lives in any way. (Although they do have ugly, calloused toes that make pedicures embarrassing. 😉 ).