June 18, 2010

Coach And Teammates Reflect On Incident

As we posted earlier, rugby player Krissa Wiechmann '12 was seriously injured during a game last week. Since her injury, Wiechmann's coach and teammates have taken to the internet to express their thoughts about the tragic incident.

In an open letter posted Wednesday to the Facebook page "Help Get Krissa Wiechmann To The Mayo Clinic," rugby coach Tony Brown writes about the moment he realized the severity of the injury. "Krissa is a Vassar sophomore whom I have coached for the past 2 years so you can imagine how personal this is for me," Brown writes. "I knew immediately even from the touchline that an ambulance would be needed and both myself and the Athletic Trainer ran on to the field." As for having to contact Wiechmann's parents, Brown writes, "I had to make the phone call to a player's mother that a coach never wants to have to make - ever... To see one of your players collared and strapped on a hospital bed in the ER, shivering and scared out of her mind, and both knowing she had a serious neck injury about to go in for surgery is mind numbing. Time just stands still and yet a million thoughts are racing through your head."

Morandi Hurst '10, a recent graduate and former rugby player also took to the internet to express her feelings on the subject. In an article for Inside Dakota Sports published today, Hurst writes about why women are attracted to rugby despite the obvious physical risks. "In a sport where people consistently encounter serious injuries, medical emergencies, and near-fatal accidents, what is the motivation for playing?" Hurst writes. "It seems counterintuitive, but this aggressive, painful game is one of the fastest growing sports among young women in the United States." She continues to write that she was attracted to the sport "for the support of a team, and the thrill of the game," among other reasons. Hurst stopped playing in April before graduating after what she calls her "second serious injury."

"She demonstrated her passion in every play, and it was clear from watching her, that a life-long athlete had fallen in love with a new sport," Hurst writes of Wiechmann, continuing, "there is no doubt in my mind that when Krissa recovers from her injury, she will want to play again."

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