Queenstown teen Toby Dickson is finally off on his overseas skiing adventure after a broken leg nearly shattered his dreams.
The promising freeskier flew to the United States on Monday to see out the rest of the northern hemisphere season.
Toby, 15, was meant to be the youngest entrant in the internationally-renowned Winter Dew Tour invitational,
competing alongside the world’s best winter action sports athletes.
But two days before he was due to fly out in early December, he broke his left ankle while on the trampoline at home.
To make matters worse, he’d broken through the growth plate of his tibia and needed surgery.
Fortunately, doctors were able to manipulate his bones to pull them back together instead of inserting pins – meaning a swifter recovery leading to him being able to fulfil his first overseas training experience.
The Wakatipu High student spent every day in the gym and was able to swim in the pool with a special water-proof cast for rehab and fitness.
“He’d worked all year at Browns Ski Shop in Queenstown to save for the $10,000 non-refundable trip so it was a pretty stressful time,” manager Hugh McChesney says.
“We definitely owe all of his recovery to Louise Parker at The Studio Physiotherapy.”
Toby will spend this month getting used to skis again and continue to take it easy in March. Toby’s training – with superstars like 2011 World No. 1 Gus Kenworthy – will increase before heading home for the New Zealand season at the end of April.
“I hope to be able to represent NZ in the World Skiing Invitational in Whistler in April,” Toby says.
“It was a bit gutting to miss out on the Winter Dew Tour but at the same time it’s good to be able to still go there and get something out of it.”
Toby won’t be missing out on schoolwork either – he’s taking a term’s worth of work with him. McChesney, who studies management extramurally, will be there to make sure he does it while Toby’s parents stay at home.