In January 2018 things were looking up for Rio Olympic trampolinist Dylan Schmidt.
The 22-year-old was bouncing higher than ever before, his routines were flowing, and he’d just won a World Cup silver medal.
Then a freak accident forced him to the sidelines.
“I had a crash, just a bit of a brain malfunction and I landed funny and got twisted and my knee locked out,” said Schmidt.
“It was pretty painful at the time. I went to hospital and got some scans and the surgeon had to get in there and fix everything.”
The Aucklander had done both his ACL and LCL joint, the surgery and subsequent recovery period keeping him off the trampoline for almost a year as he worked to regain flexibility in his left knee.
“Rehab’s no easy thing, it’s definitely been a mental and physical challenge but I’m super stoked with where I’m at now and the effort I’ve put in. I’ve recovered quicker than most people expected which is great.
“Being back on the tramp feels really good, I love jumping and doing flips so it’s nice to be back.”
The Olympian, who finished 7th in Rio, now ready to return to the world circuit.
“In 10 days I’m off to my first competition in more than a year, competing at a World Cup in Azerbaijan.
“It’s an Olympic qualifier so I’ll go out there, hit two good routines and just see what happens. I’m not looking for too much at this stage, I’d like to just get back into the feel of competing and see how we go.”
The injury adding more fire to Schmidt’s Olympic dream.
“I’m going to give it a good crack to qualify for Tokyo. I’m confident in my ability and I’ve got the determination to get there so it’s just a matter of competing and getting back into the swing of things.
“I’m rearing to go and I’m ready.”Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Dylan Schmidt