RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Friday, January 18, 2013) – The past few seasons have seen talk on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour focused around the youth uprising challenging the dynasty of reigning five-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24. While much of the focus remains around the ‘New Guard’, Brazil’s Silvana Lima, 28, is still considered one of the most progressive and dangerous female surfers on the planet. After suffering a major knee injury in early 2012, Lima was benched for the entire season and remained largely out of the media spotlight. After an extensive rehabilitation program, the South American talent has received the ASP Injury wildcard for 2013, with Lima’s return slated for the season opening Roxy Pro Gold Coast. ASP caught up with Silvana to see how her recovery process has been and where her head is at as she prepares to do battle once again with the world’s best surfers. This…is her story…
Can you describe the injury that sidelined you for over a year? What happened and how did you do it?
During Roxy Pro Quarterfinals last season on the Gold Coast, I had a big landing on one of my waves and heard a pop in my knee and instantly felt a lot of pain in my knee. I tried to continue competing, but the pain was too strong and I knew I had to stop. The next day I did an MRI exam, and it was diagnosed that my anterior crossed ligament was ruptured. I was devastated because the doctors told me I’d be out for the entire year. I called my doctors at home as soon as possible, scheduling the surgery date for when I arrived in Rio de Janeiro, which was on March 30th.
What has the rehabilitation process been like?
Physiotherapy started just a week after the surgery. That happened twice a day, and there were also some hydrotherapy sessions. I’m still doing physiotherapy and on the second month I started working out to build up my muscles to help my knee to work properly. It’s been nine months now.
How was it watching the women’s ‘CT from the sidelines this year? Did you follow the tour closely, what are your thoughts on the season?
I watched all the women’s and men’s events. I really wished I was there, but it gave me strength and motivation to recover, and to get back as soon as possible. It was very good to see the girl’s evolution, and I really enjoyed it.
Time and time again, athletes come back from a severe injury stronger and hungrier than ever. We saw Mick Fanning come back to win his ASP World Title following his devastating hamstring injury. How has this setback changed your perspective and motivation to succeed?
Mick’s story motivated me a lot, due to the fact that he came back and won the championship. Other people’s stories give me enormous motivation and it shows what you can do when you want to win. I can’t wait for 2013 Tour to start so that I can go back and do what I like to do the most – compete.
The media often focuses on the young up and comers on the women’s ‘CT, but you’re both one of the most progressive among your peers and also one of the elders on tour. Do you feel you’re still improving with age?
Absolutely. I’ve been developing experience, and working hard to make my surfing better. I always liked to progress. I’m doing well with my training, and really working on completing more airs, which is my favorite trick, so I’m happy.
We’ve seen an explosion of Brazilian talent on the men’s WCT, but entering 2013, you’ll be the only Brazilian female on the ASP Top 17. Why do you think the South American women have yet to assert their dominance on the sport like the men and also, who is the next female talent to come out of Brazil?
Unfortunately, there are few sponsorship opportunities for our Brazilian girls. We have a lot of “secret talents” who don’t have money to invest in the sport and compete. Juliana Souza and Larissa dos Santos are young, but still talented girls.
Any closing thoughts and goals for 2013?
I’d really appreciate it if any company believed in my talent, because at the moment I’m without sponsorship. In 2013 I’ll be focused a lot on each step, looking for victories. Thanks so much. Sil
Silvana and the rest of the ASP Top 17 will do battle once again at the opening event of the season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast from March 2 – 13, 2013.
For more on SILVANA LIMA, check out her ASP Top 17 Profile
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