Sugar Todd: Getting Back Up to Speed (After an Injury)
For the next few days, Milwaukee plays host to long track speed skaters working toward making the 2018 Winter Olympic team. The US Long Track World Cup Qualifiers takes place at the Pettit National Ice Center through Sunday, and will decide the international competitors on the US team this season.
Among those on the oval will be Sugar Todd, who competed in the 2014 Olympics. Todd spent much of her childhood in the Milwaukee area, developing into a world-class skater. She had high hopes last season, but 2016 proved to be a difficult year. An injury to her knee forced her to get knee surgery.
"I struggled with this because I'm a very mind-over-matter type of person, and I couldn't will this away. I couldn't just tell myself I was healthy and my knee was functioning well," says Todd.
She had to rest her knee after the surgery, which meant a lot of laying around at home. As you might expect, this wasn't exactly for a world-class athlete. "The first few weeks after my surgery I was definitely getting bouts of cabin fever, just sitting at home binge-watching Netflix and feeling like I wasn't doing anything, which was exactly what I needed to be doing," she says.
Getting back onto the rink hasn't been easy. "Speedskating's not like riding a bike. You don't just hop back out there and like, pick up where you left off," says Todd. Still, Sugar has remained optimistic, and has high hopes for the World Cup Qualifiers.
Sugar Todd is a member of the US National speedskating team. She spent much of her childhood in Wisconsin, and graduated from Wauwatosa East High School. She trains in Utah now, and is back in Milwaukee to compete in the US Long Track World Cup Qualifiers at the Pettit National Ice Center.