Previously, we talked about some of our favourite role models making waves and spreading awareness on scoliosis with their celebrity statuses. In this post, we share the athletes we would like to meet. These individuals overcame the odds and defied expectations of coaches and trainers to be at the top of their game. Here is the list of our favourite 5 world class athletes with scoliosis:-
Usain Bolt – the fastest man in the world is very vocal about his struggles with scoliosis and diet of chicken nuggets. When he was younger, he was injured yearly due to not understanding his condition. Thereafter, he manages his S shaped spine by keeping his core and back strong. Even so, his scoliosis has resulted in his famous uneven stride which has been studied around the world in hopes of unlocking the secrets to speed.
Tracy McGrady– remainhighly regarded by peers and coaches. One Kobe Bryant admits that T-Mac is the toughest opponent he has played. With the same skill set but bigger and a better defender overall (in comparison to Kobe Bryant). Born with mild scoliosis, trainers and doctors initially tagged him with 4 to 5 year lifespan on the NBA court. Tracy would go on to play for 15 years, collecting scoring titles and All-Star selections while being the offensive focal point on his teams.
UK Emelia Gorecka – the current European Junior 3000m champion and three-time European junior cross-country champion. She has congenital scoliosis and was in a brace 23hrs/day for 3-4 yrs. During this time she could only train during that 1hr/day where she was off brace. Emelia has talked openly about how being in brace helped evolve her breathing patterns.
Natalie Coughlin – the only female US olympian to bring home 6 medals from an olympic games. Suspected she had some mild scoliosis in her teens, which went undetected until she turned 30. An avid foodie with appearances on Iron Chef America and Chopped. Remaining prominent in the US swim scene, she says her muscles from training helped in hiding her scoliosis.
Jessica Ashwood – Jessica swam in two olympic games, two world championships and two commonwealth games. When she was 13 her scoliosis went from mild to severe (double curves above 40 degrees each) in a year. Very brave in deciding not to undergo surgery or bracing at the time so as to not impact her swimming career. Finally had corrective surgery when she was 26 upon retiring from competitive swimming.
Here at Align Brace, we believe that all CCA should be enjoyable in a safe environment at minimal risk. As such, we hope to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to do so through our partners.