Polina Edmunds takes season off, plans figure skating return

Polina Edmunds
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Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds has been off the ice for nearly nine months with a long-term right foot injury and will not compete this season. Her goal is to return to competitive figure skating next season.

Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports in Sochi, has suffered from a bone bruise for more than two and a half years, missing the entire 2016-17 season. She withdrew after a seventh-place short program at last season’s U.S. Championships in January in her hometown of San Jose, citing the injury.

“I had a lot of MRIs done in the past three years,” Edmunds said by phone Thursday. “The bone bruise that I had was very deep and very serious for such a small bone in my foot. It required a lot of time off the ice, off really physical activity impact on my foot to really heal it properly. I never really allowed myself to have that time just with the craziness of Olympic season last year. Ever since my last nationals and me taking the time off the ice, I’ve actually allowed myself the proper healing time and the proper way to go about it. Even if I wasn’t skating, I wouldn’t be running or doing other things that would harm it.”

Edmunds is focused this fall on her junior year at Santa Clara University, where she is a communication major.

As a skater, Edmunds was the revelation of the 2014 U.S. Championships, taking silver behind Gracie Gold in her first senior competition to earn her way onto the Sochi Olympic team at age 15. Edmunds, on skates since age 2 when her Russian-born mother, Nina, began coaching her, had been profiled by The New York Times at the 2010 U.S. Championships and won the U.S. junior title in 2013.

She then placed ninth at the Sochi Winter Games and eighth at that season’s world championships.

Edmunds notched her biggest win at the 2015 Four Continents Championships, then took another U.S. silver medal in 2016 in her last competition before the injury struck.

“I haven’t lived up to my competitive potential,” Edmunds said Thursday. “My career internationally has been so short. I really feel like there’s more that I can do, more that I can bring. This time I’ve had off, this physical and mental growth, coming back I can be even better than I was before.”

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