At age 16, freestyle skier Torin Yater-Wallace has modeled his career after his mentor, half pipe icon Simon Dumont. A decade apart in age, the X Games medalists have paired up to compete at the Dew Tour this December, kickoff of the snow season. The parallels between the two athletes’ careers are numerous, but recent injuries have bonded them even further. (See Recovering From Injury: The Basics.)
Dumont tore his ACL last March. Wallace recently had surgery on his shoulder. While they were in New York celebrating Target’s 50th anniversary, STACK caught up with the twosome to talk about their comebacks.
STACK: How would you rate your excitement level about participating in the upcoming Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships?
DUMONT: Pretty excited. There is going to be a lot more pressure and attention around this one event. I’m coming back twice as hungry and twice as healthy. It’s going to be a day of reckoning for skiing.
STACK: Does missing key events further motivate you?
DUMONT: I’ve never had [an injury] that made me miss an event, but [missing the 2012 Winter X Games] may have been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been at this for awhile, so it was sort of nice to have a break, take several months off to go to the gym to revaluate my training. My main focus during recovery was to get my passion back for skiing. That was the longest I’ve ever gone without skiing, so that alone was tough for me to deal with. Plus, not being able to walk for a while, there was just a lot I had to deal with. Now I’m twice as strong to try for the Olympics again, so there were a lot of things left to motivate me to get back on my skis.
WALLACE: This is actually the first time I’ve had an injury that will take me out of an event. I’m not exactly sure how to deal with it, but I’m taking advice and input from others like Simon. This last year, I’ve been skiing more than I’ve ever been, so I do feel like a break could be a good thing.
STACK: What do you look forward to most about coming back to compete?
DUMONT: The crowd…[They] really help me a lot; it’s always there in the back of your mind when people are cheering you on. I feed off support, but when I don’t do well, I’m the person I let down the most.
WALLACE: Being just three weeks into [rehab], I’m already going crazy missing skiing. I’m not really sure how to deal with it so I know just being back out there will drive me.
Want more inspirational stories from today’s top athletes? Check out the STACK Motivation Page.