Moyse recovering from hip surgery

Jason Malloy
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Summerside native wants to return to bobsled, rugby

Heather Moyse

Heather Moyse is facing the biggest challenge of her career head-on.

The dual sport athlete committed the next year and a half to train for the 2014 Olympics in bobsled and to compete for Canada at the World Cup of Rugby in June. Both are happening in Russia.

After being cleared to return to training, following an ankle injury suffered at the 2010 Rugby World Cup, she started having pain in her hip.

Doctors diagnosed her with a torn labrum and bone spurs on the head of the femur and hip socket in her right leg.

She had surgery last week and talked publicly about it Thursday for the first time.

“It is a setback. It’s huge,” she admitted in an interview with The Guardian.

But she is undeterred. She plans to train as hard as she can to get back on the course and field.

“I’d like to contribute as much as I can … to give back to my country in these two sports,” she said. “I’ve always found challenges really fun. This is just a really, really, really big one.”

The 34-year-old Summerside native had pain in the hip in the past while doing certain exercises.

“I just avoided lateral leg swings,” she said. “That was an indicator, which I didn’t realize, I probably had a torn labrum years ago.”

She is excited by the potential of being stronger and more powerful following surgery and rehab.

Committing to try to make her third Olympics and get back on the rugby field wasn’t an easy decision. She flipped back and forth on what to do and agonized over the life-altering decision.

At the end of August, she met John Tait, the new women’s rugby coach, while doing colour commentating for the North American Caribbean Rugby Association sevens championship.

“Are you ready to put your boots back on?” she recalls him asking.

Moyse also said an assistant rugby coach told her she was one of the best in the world, despite never having consistent coaching.

“Being considered one of the elite players in Canada and the world, that’s flattering … but it’s not reason enough for me to go and play,” Moyse said. “When someone said you have never really reached your potential, that’s a draw for me.”

It put the wheels in motion to get clearance to start training again for both sports.

“I thought that was a big enough challenge, but apparently throwing in a hip surgery makes it a bigger one.”

Moyse, who has battled back from injuries before, plans to do everything she can to ensure, when she retires, there are no regrets.

“I am not ending because I hurt myself,” she said. “You kind of just want to prove to yourself you can still do it.”

Since she announced via Twitter Nov. 22 she had surgery there has been a swell of support coming in for the Island Olympian.

“Its like a Twittersphere support system,” she said. “It’s comforting.”





Heather Moyse

Who: Olympic gold medallist in bobsled in Vancouver in 2010 and a world-class rugby player.

Hometown: Summerside

Age: 34

What’s up: Had hip surgery Nov. 21 to repair a tear in her labrum and shave bone spurs from femur and hip socket.

Quote: “Maybe my challenge is in the next year and a half, how much can I contribute to the success of my country in the two sports that have gotten me to where I am?”

Interesting note: Dr. Ivan Wong, who was a year ahead of Moyse at Three Oaks Senior High, performed the surgery.

Organizations: North American Caribbean Rugby Association

Geographic location: Summerside, Canada, Vancouver

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Recent comments

    November 30, 2012 - 09:00

    I wish Heather a full and speedy recovery. I believe the PEI Potato Board is or was a major sponsor of hers, given the bags I see in the grocery stores with Heather's photo on them. It was for her campaign to make the Canadian Olympic cycling team. Has Heather decided to drop the cycling now, because it isn't mentioned. It's funny that she doesn't seem to mention PEI potatoes at all. Maybe that support ended? The Guardian should ask some questions...

  • Gerald Arsenault
    November 30, 2012 - 08:34

    Pushing to the limit as always may result in going over the limit sometimes. Hope all heals fast and your career gets back on track. You continue to make us Islanders proud.

  • Shirley
    November 30, 2012 - 07:09

    ""Good Luck Heather"" make us islanders proud like you have in the past.

  • Jerry Bingley
    November 30, 2012 - 06:27

    Way to go WOW...your comment cements the fact that JEALOUSY still reigns supreme on our great Island. Good Luck Heather.

  • Wow
    November 29, 2012 - 21:54

    Is this really newsworthy-She accomplished great things but now lets move on and get some ink for some other athletes.

    • Dr. Allan J. macDonald
      November 30, 2012 - 06:35

      Come on, now! This young lady is someone in whom Islanders can, and should, take pride. She can easily serve as an inspiration to others - on many fronts. Thanks for the fine interview!

    • Consider This
      November 30, 2012 - 08:32

      She is likely the best athlete - male or female - ever from PEI. She is likely the best female athlete in Canada, and one of the top athletes in the World. If she wins a medal with the Rugby 7's team at the next Summer Olympics, she will have medalled in Summer and Winter Olympics. Seems newsworthy to me.

    • Bobandy
      November 30, 2012 - 13:07

      Consider this, I think you've got a little hometown bias on the go..."best athlete - male or female - ever from PEI". Brad Richards is a pretty solid athlete, and at one time Lori Kane was one of the top female golfers in the world. Eli was a pretty solid athlete as well. As for best female athlete in Canada and one of the top athletes in the world? Just in Canada alone I think that Clara Hughes and her 6 Olympic medals would beg to differ. As would Christine Sinclair, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Cindy Klassen. She's good, but not the best.