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Canadian NST Guys Mix It Up on the Pitch – Babikov Injured

by Jesse Winter
Ivan Babikov collided with another player and injured his rib. © Heinz Ruckemann
August 31, 2010 (Canmore, Alberta) – Even with the FIFA World Cup long over, Canmore is keeping the vibe alive. The Bow Valley has a very strong group of regional teams, with National Ski Team Members Stef Kuhn and Ivan Babikov both getting in on the action. Their team, Canmore Rose ‘n Crown, floats near the top of the region’s rankings all season long, often going undefeated. And, in keeping with high-level athletic performance, Kuhn and Babikov don’t slouch around the field either.

Last week, in a close game against the Banff Springs team, Babikov was working hard, scoring a goal partway through the first half. Shortly after, however, his luck changed when he collided with a Springs player, taking the impact full in the chest. He was out for the rest of the game, and eventually was driven to the hospital by the pain.

“It was pretty intense,” said Babikov. With his reputation as a fiend in the most brutal, painful races (remember his dominance at the Canadian Mountain Running Championships, and his penchant for 50km races?), you’ve got to believe he was hurting pretty badly. Cracked and broken ribs are one of the most painful of injuries, so it’s no surprise that the Canadian tough-guy wound up under an x-ray scope.

“The doctors said the x-ray was inconclusive,” Ivan explained over the phone. “Because ribs are difficult to x-ray, it was hard to tell if it was broken. It was definitely cracked, but it didn’t look too bad.” With the incident only a week old, Babikov’s use of the past tense might be confusing, but for him the injury is old news already.

“I was laid up for two days. It was too painful to lie down, even to breath. I had to get some pain killers from the hospital, and sleep in a sitting position, but after a few days of road biking and taking it easy, I’m back on my rollerskis and even went for a run this morning.”

The injury won’t affect Babikov’s overall training program, nor will it keep him from the upcoming speed and intensity camp in Quebec, for which the NST leaves on September 7th. He’s lucky. Rib injuries can be incredibly messy and dangerous, as Petra Majdic proved in the sprint final at the Vancouver Olympics where she finished an incredible 3rd despite a broken rib and a punctured lung.

“The rest of the fall should go well,” said Babikov. “But, probably no more soccer for a while.”





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