Andringa Returns from Ankle Injury
Moguls skier on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Jesse Andringa returned to snow last month after rehabbing through an ankle injury he sustained at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International. Andringa tore three ligaments in his ankle and dislocated his peroneal tendons in a crash that sent him over the bottom air on one foot.
Following a successful surgery, Andringa quickly focused his attention on his recovery. His first priority was getting his range of motion back, keeping things pretty mellow, and lifting once he was able to do so. “Lifting is so stable,” he explained, “it doesn’t require a lot of foot movement. So I was able to lift heavy weights before I was able to walk normally.”
Four months in, Andringa was cleared to train on the water ramp, and got 23 ramping days in before taking his ankle to snow at Timberline Lodge & Ski Area last month during moguls’ last domestic on-snow prep camp.
“I was cleared to do everything at Timberline,” he said. “I still didn’t have the mobility that I would have liked to have had. I started off just skiing flats, but that made my ankle really sore, and was very discouraging.”
Not one to be discouraged, Andringa pressed on, finding jumping felt better. “Jumping on snow felt good, I got used to jumping in water so that motion was becoming easier for me.” By the end of camp, Andringa was training his full trick package.
Even more surprising to Andringa was how many moguls he skied. “I really did not think I would be able to ski moguls. I tried it, and the first runs every day would really hurt. I would only ski about four to begin with. But by run two or three I was up to 10 or 15 in a row. I was up to a full mogul section usually by run four.”
“It was really awesome [to be back on snow]. As I got back to it more and more, it became easier and easier. It was really encouraging to see all of my work and rehab pay off.”
The camp also marked the first time both Andringa brothers were back on snow training as part of the U.S. Ski Team together since 2019. After almost two full years sidelined by surgeries, injuries and rehabs, Casey Andringa returned to snow just before Jesse in June. “It was very fun to be back on snow with Casey. Both of us are going through emotional times. We have highs, like doing tricks on snow, and lows, like having to take afternoons or days off because of our pain levels. But being together was helpful and encouraging.”
This was just the boost Andringa needed heading into the later half of the summer prep season. He’ll be working towards skiing 100% the next time the team finds snow and plans to keep pushing to dial in his full range of motion.
Reflecting back on his injury, Andringa says he learned he needed to better believe in himself. “I pushed myself at Deer Valley because I was lacking confidence. Confidence and knowing that I’m good enough, that’s what I’m taking out of this.”
Andringa would like to thank all of his physical therapists, Doctor Thomas Haytmanek, Hans Gardner, U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff and everyone else who has helped him through this injury.
Follow Jesse Andringa’s story on his Instagram @jesse_bare