Maggie Voisin chooses ACL surgery now with eye on 2022 Olympics, beyond

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 21, 2019

WHITEFISH — In 2014, Maggie Voisin was set to be one of the youngest U.S. Olympians to compete at the Sochi Winter Games at just 15 years old. But just a day before the opening ceremony, Voisin broke her ankle on a practice run and was sidelined for the entire event.

When she came back to compete, she was met with more obstacles as she tore her right ACL and hurt her meniscus. Success finally followed in 2018, with a fourth-place finish at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and a first-place medal at the X-Games, but earlier this year, Voisin learned she had re-torn the same ACL in her right knee.

The now 20-year-old can’t pinpoint exactly when she tore the ligament but thinks it could be from a crash last July.

“When I figured out that my ACL was gone, I still had two competitions left in the season,” Voisin said of her thought process back in February. “Basically, my doctor and all my physical therapists on the U.S. team gave me full support in whatever I decided to do, if that was continue to ski on it or to get surgery. At that time I hadn’t really decided what I wanted to do, so I went into the next competition.”

But ultimately, Voisin decided not to risk it with the possibility of the ligament being aggravated closer to the next Olympics.

“The Olympics were last season. I have three years to get back and ready,” Voisin said. “I had a season skiing and I’ll be skiing next year, so the timing was kind of perfect to do it now. Let’s say I decide not to get the surgery and two years down the road I’m in so much pain that I get the surgery, and it’s that much closer to the Olympics. I just figured that now was the best time to take care of it.”

Voisin is set to be sidelined anywhere from six to eight months, but she’s learned to not focus on the negatives of the injury.

“Mentally, it was really, really hard for me that last one,” said the Whitefish native, “but I truly believe I learned a lot from it, and I grew a lot. So going into this one, I know that from any situation, good or bad, you can always take a positive away from it, and I know I’m going to learn something on the road. Something like, ‘If there’s no rain, there are no flowers.’”

Her road now will be filled with tons of physical therapy building toward next season. Voisin will be spending most of her time during the summer and fall with physical therapists and strength coaches in Park City, Utah at the Center of Excellence, hoping to get back on the snow in September. When asked about the possibility of slowing down due to injury, Voisin didn’t hesitate.

“Any great athlete has gone through so many ups and downs in their career and it’s the downs that really show and make or break people,” she said.