U.S. ice dancer Melissa Gregory suffered a severe fall during Sunday’s free dance warm-up at Skate Canada, which required medical treatment. Her injuries are not considered serious and, with rest, she is expected to make a full recovery.
Gregory and her on-ice partner (and husband), Denis Petukhov, were performing a rotational lift during the warm-up when he lost his grip, causing her to hit the ice chest first and him to go sliding into the boards.
Gregory was put on a backboard and taken to L'Enfant Jesus, a well-known trauma center located 10-15 minutes away.
Gregory underwent extensive evaluation, including a CT scan, at the hospital. She was discharged later in the afternoon and went back to the hotel to rest. “Basically, she feels like a truck hit her,” coach Priscilla Hill said.
Gregory’s neck is sore and she has several bruises and cuts on her hip. Petukhov is sore on his hip and neck.
There is no precise timetable for when the duo can resume skating, but Hill does not believe it should keep them off the ice for long.
“I was dropped from a lift when I did pairs, and I had a similar thing with the hip. It took me about a week, although (my injury) was a chipped hip bone. It was tender there for a while,” Hill said. “They need a week to let their bodies heal.”
On Nov. 6, U.S. Figure Skating issued a release that said Gregory and Petukhov had returned home to the United States.
“We are simply overwhelmed with all the supportive phone calls and e-mails,” Gregory said. “We want to reassure everyone that we are OK and healing right now so we can get back onto the ice as soon as possible. We especially want to thank U.S. Figure Skating and the Skate Canada medical staff for their quick and top-notch care.”
The first people to check on Gregory and Petukhov after their fall were Italian ice dancers Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, who interrupted their warm-up routine to do so.
“We want to send a special thank you to the Italian ice dance team of Cappellini and Lanotte and the Canadian team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for coming to our aid on the ice,” Petukhov said. “They demonstrated outstanding character and are shining examples of true sportsmanship.”
Gregory and Petukhov said they are now concentrating on getting better, so they can put the incident behind them and move forward. Gregory and Petukhov were scheduled to compete at Cup of Russia, Nov. 22-25 in Moscow, but withdrew.