A month ago, former Hendersonville High multi-sport standout Grant Rivers, who was set to compete in the javelin in the Tokyo Olympic Games next month for Bermuda, found out devastating news: His 2021 Olympic dream had officially and painfully come to an end, writes Dean Hensley from Blueridgenow.com
Rivers, a 2013 Hendersonville High graduate, had been experiencing pain in his elbow during the winter months of 2020 and took January and February off to recover. But in May, things took a turn for the worse.
"Sadly, in the month of May, my arm gave out on me," the 26-year-old said. "I remember one practice where the nerve in my elbow was killing me so much I couldnít finish. I went and saw a doctor because my family was pretty concerned."
Rivers said Dr.Oleksak did a few tests on his arm.
"In five minutes he confirmed I needed Ulnar Nerve Transposition surgery. He stated the Ulnar Nerve in my elbow was floating (mobile), so every time I threw it would shift which was causing pain. If I got the surgery, recovery would be two or three months with rehab. If I didnít get it Iíd suffer nerve damage."
"My run at the Tokyo Olympics is over, but my Olympic journey is not," he said. "Any one in track and field will tell you these injuries are abrupt and sudden, but Iíve already set my next goal. Iíve had it rough in terms of injuries over the last year-and-a-half, but that comes with athletics. The Commonwealth Games are a little over 400 days from now and World Championships are after that.
"I already see myself there and Iím making preparations to qualify and get there. Iíve reached out to a new coach who has a few athletes on China's National Team and we are moving forward."
ďI start rehab on Tuesday and then I will begin making preparations to qualify for the Commonwealth Games next summer. I just need to get healthy. I donít feel like Iíve been 100% for atleast a year and a half. Itís time, to take some time, to get back to some sort of normalcy,Ē concluded Rivers.