Player Profile: Kimberly Wang

Marissa Gailey, Contributing Writer

Being a high schooler is hard, but being a high schooler with a torn ACL is even harder when you tear it playing the sport you love.

Junior Kimberly Wang has torn her ACL because of soccer twice.

Wang has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old. She plays defense for her team England in the fall.

“I have practice every Wednesday and Friday, games every Saturday or Sunday and some weeks, both. Training is every Thursday unless you have private lessons,” Wang said about her training schedule.

Wang keeps soccer alongside school under control: “If I don’t finish my homework before soccer then I pause, go to soccer and then finish it when I get back home.”

To someone who doesn’t play any sports, thinking about keeping up with school and homework outside of a sport seems hard, but not to Wang.

“My grades are good but I work hard, and when I have soccer practice I stay up pretty late,” Wang said. “So some days my grades are affected more than others because if I didn’t finish my homework before soccer, then I would have to come home and finish which resulted in me staying up late and not doing so well for instance if I had a test the next day.”

“Every once in awhile, not often though, if I don’t have any or minimum homework then I would come home from school, do whatever homework I had, then lay on the couch or listen to music or watch tv or even fall asleep. Then I would eat dinner and continue on with my day,” Wang said when asked if she had time to herself apart from school and soccer.

Sports are a main part of an athlete’s identity. Playing a sport can affect your school life, your homework and your life outside of school. It can cause you to have minimum time to yourself or no time at all.

“It was on the side closest to my parents. I was playing in a select all star tournament. The ball started to go out of the field. My coach was yelling at me to get the ball so I planted my left leg to try and kick the ball with my right. Then I put my right leg back to kick the ball and my left leg twisted and I went down and I couldn’t walk. The next day I went and got an MRI. Later in the process I got surgery and then continued with physical therapy for a year. And then followed by soccer training after therapy was done.”Wang said.

Tearing an ACL is a hard process to deal with. The surgery, the therapy and the training to get back into a sport you love is time consuming and it makes you think if you’d be able to play that sport again in fear of getting hurt once more.

The thought of tearing an ACL to an athlete is scary, but tearing your ACL a second time in the same leg is even scarier but Wang was able to handle it like a champ.

“When I twisted my leg I didn’t go down right away. I started walking toward the goal because the other team was kicking a corner kick. My teammates saw I was limping so the asked if I was okay. At first I assured them I was okay but as I continued to walk I discovered I wasn’t okay so I went down to pause the game.” Wang added. “My coaches came running over and had to carry me off the field. Later in the process again I got an MRI and found out I had torn my ACL again and my meniscus too this time and that I need to get surgery once again. I am going to have to go through this process all over again.”

Living with a twice torn ACL is rough but Wang and her family seem to have it all down, as this is her second time tearing her’s.

Wang reflected, “The types of things that go into dealing with a torn ACL is physical and emotional pain, knowing that I am physically restricted from doing the things I love like playing soccer. Another thing is doing physical therapy 2 times a week for a year to a year and a half for 2 hours a day. It is very time consuming and takes away from other activities I’d like to do.”

“Tearing your ACL makes you stop and think, should I stop playing the sport I love and save myself the trouble of dealing with tearing my ACL again or should I keep playing the sport I’ve grown to love over the 11 years I’ve played it and risk tearing my ACL once more?” she added.

For Wang, that was a hard decision to make as she’s been playing since she was 5, and it was her dream to go to college for soccer.

“I may play in college, but nothing serious. It doesn’t really affect me at all because I was just going to play but not as a professional,” Wang said.

If she had her mind set on going to college for soccer, it is completely out of the question as you wouldn’t want to risk re-tearing it.

“A torn ACL means to me that I have to rely on someone to help me and a lot of hard work just to get back to a simple task like walking,” concluded Wang.