Smashing it: Badmonton’s Susan Egelstaff on beating knee injury and Olympic dreams

Susan Egelstaff

Commonwealth medal-winning badminton player Susan Egelstaff had her sights firmly set on the London 2012 Olympics when disaster struck. Sitting in the GB No. 1 spot everything was on course to qualify when she suffered a terrible knee injury. In this brilliant episode, she talks candidly about what it was like after 14 years of training to get to this point only to face having your dreams swept away. You don’t have to be a badminton player to emphasise with Susan’s story, it will resonate with any athlete who has faced or is facing a similar situation.

Top-level badminton is a high-energy sport requiring a ton of pivoting and jumping, Susan’s injury caused her thigh and shin bones to ‘smash’ together. Prof Mackay who performed her surgery explains more about this unusual injury and why he felt it happened. Recounting that time now you can still hear the emotion Susan felt on hearing her diagnosis and the prospect of a long recovery.

Sportspeople in any field will be fascinated to hear Susan talk openly about how she hated her slow, arduous rehabilitation process and how lonely it was. But she also talks about how much she was helped by talking to a sports psychologist who played a pivotal role in maintaining her mental health and positivity throughout. She has some great tips about coping with both sides of recovery.

This is a fascinating, deep dive with a funny, engaging guest looking not only at what it takes to get to the highest level in sport but also at what can happen when serious injury strikes. More importantly though, it is a tale of snatching a hard-won victory from the jaws of defeat.

Leave a Comment