Speed ​​Skating | David La Rue’s wide-angle turn

Numerous injuries, an Olympic selection competition canceled due to an outbreak of COVID-19, three years of absence from the World Cup circuit: David La Rue has eaten his black bread in recent years. To the point that the junior world vice-champion in the 1500m in 2018 questioned himself.

“Have I reached my full potential in sport? the former short track skater asked. I tried different things, I thought I was good, but it wasn’t the level I wanted. »

Things came to a head last winter with three medals at the World University Games in Lake Placid, where he competed against some renowned rivals. La Rue continued his momentum in the fall by achieving the best results of his World Cup career, including an eighth place in the 1500m in Beijing, three-quarters of a second from the podium. He promised himself for the rounds in Norway and Poland. However, he was not at the end of his troubles.

At a bike camp in Girona, Spain, he was following a teammate at 40-45 km/h when he crashed into a large rock she hadn’t seen. His front tire burst and he found himself groggy on the asphalt, scratched on one side. Above all, his head hit and his helmet collapsed.

Quickly taken by ambulance to the hospital, La Rue thought he had avoided the worst, but a CT scan revealed a brain hemorrhage.

“I was sick, I had wounds all over my skin, but my head was fine, I was lucid,” he said last week on the sidelines of the World Cup in Quebec.

“Forty-eight hours later, the symptoms went into free fall! I woke up completely dazed, unable to see anything on my cell phone screen. I got up to go to the bathroom, fell against the wall and started throwing up. That was the start of a long day to return to Quebec… My reasoning was probably not at its best. The flight attendants took pity on me, but I survived. »

After the bleeding subsided, the Saint-Lambert athlete returned to the ice at the beginning of January. The dizziness started again the next day. It took him two weeks to recover.

“It wasn’t exercise symptoms, but my vestibular system that was affected. Everything that is the inner ear and balance. I was still able to continue and even push my cycling and bodybuilding training. »

“A completely different mentality”

For two weeks, the 25-year-old skater has successfully handed over the blades at the Gaétan-Boucher oval in Quebec. He is progressing slowly, alongside his vestibular physiotherapy sessions. His season is practically over, except perhaps for a Canada Cup in a month in Calgary.

Despite everything, La Rue maintains morale. A bachelor in finance at Laval University, he is taking advantage of his competitive break to study for his level II exam to become a chartered financial analyst (CFA). His dark period in recent years has made him put his sporting career into perspective.

“I have a completely different mentality towards sport. I do it because I love it, because I want to discover countries, take the time to visit them, interact with other athletes. Of course I want to perform, but thinking only about that wasn’t necessarily healthy.

“Now, skating is a part of my life that I’m happy to have. It makes sense in relation to my overall long-term goals, both in sport and in life in general. »

This wide-angle shift will lead him to discover his full potential, he is convinced.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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