Carly Margulies, a sophomore at Westminster College studying psychology, has struggled with multiple knee injuries, putting her training on hold and setting her back from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Halfpipe team.
“It’s definitely rough not being able to do what you love, so I feel for her in that sense because her recovery has been prolonged which is a major bummer,” said Margulies’ roommate Molly Wireman, a sophomore studying sociology. “It’s also difficult to live in a place known for its skiing not be able to enjoy the snow.”
Growing up in Mammoth Lakes, California, Margulies learned to ski at 3 years old. In elementary school she joined the Ski P.E. program which allowed her to ski at school. It was during this time, she said she learned how to ski in ski parks and joined the Mammoth Free Ski Team. Margulies has been competing since she was 12 years old, striving to become an Olympic Athlete she said.
Margulies sat down with The Forum to give insight into her ski career and experiences with multiple injuries. Her answers have been lightly edited for clarity and conciseness.
Q: What has your injury journey been like?
A: [When] I was 15 years old, I tore my first ACL, [in] my right leg, and I was out of competitions for about a year. I was able to get back on snow for about four months and then I, unfortunately, tore my other ACL in my left knee. […] I was rehabbing for about nine months and was able to get back into competition. I was fine for about two or three seasons, and then, unfortunately, this last spring I tore my ACL in my right knee for the second time. […] I have been rehabbing for the past 10 months and I was supposed to get back on the snow two weeks ago and unfortunately tore my meniscus in the gym while I was doing return-to-snow testing, and I had surgery about a week ago and I have been back on the rehab grind, but I’ll be back in like two months.
Q: How has your injury affected your athletic career?
A: Something that I have noticed over my career is that when I’m out from an ACL injury, I’m out for a year, so I’m not in the ski world. […] I think that that’s affected my career, whereas I’m not progressing with my teammates, I’m not progressing in the sense where sponsors are looking at me, coming for me and trying to sponsor me. I think that’s affected me, but when it comes to getting better at skiing, I don’t think that my injury has really affected me.
Q: What is it like trying to qualify for the Olympics?
A: Last year was the Olympic qualifying year. There’s a total of five events to qualify for and you had to get at least two podiums to be able to make the Olympic team and they take four of the five girls that are on the team. I was able to end up in the fourth position but unfortunately, another girl had like two points ahead of me.[…] I was so close to making the Olympics last year, but that just pushes me […] to make it the next time.
Q: Has it been difficult not being able to ski this season?
A: It’s been really hard this season. It hasn’t been as hard as the past two injuries, because I think I know what to expect. But now that it’s spring and it’s warm, it’s been super hard because it’s the best time of the year to ski. Westminster’s huge on skiing, all of my friends, all of my roommates are skiers. They all go up to the mountain every day and I’m just left behind to wait.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I’m going to be doing [school] next fall I’m pretty sure, and then I’m probably going to take Spring semester off to compete. Then I’m just going to see when I have time to do things and maybe take some online classes. [With skiing] I’m just going to keep trying to go for it, […] go for the next Olympics, just keep doing me and try not to get injured.
Q: What thrills do you get from skiing and competing?
A: Being in the ski industry, everyone’s always around each other in competitions and training. I think that it a big factor of the skiing that I love, is making new friends and having these lifelong connections. […] Aside from that, just the adrenaline that skiing gives me, being in the air and trying new tricks and being able to land them. It’s just a confidence booster for sure.