Ice Network

O'Shea Kayne you see: Pair looks to bounce back

Florida duo gives readers peek behind the curtain during Olympic season
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Since undergoing knee surgery in February, Tarah Kayne has kept a positive attitude throughout her rehabilitation. -courtesy of Daniel O'Shea

2016 U.S. pairs champions Tarah Kayne and Daniel O'Shea are on a mission to make the 2018 U.S. Olympic team. They are keeping a season-long blog for icenetwork.

When reading any of the past blogs that my partner, Tarah Kayne, and I have written, you may have gotten accustomed to our eloquent and witty writing style. That is because Tarah, in my opinion, is an amazing writer, and she usually has pretty free range to write whatever she wants in our blog posts. What I'm saying is, this entry might be a little different than what you have come to expect from us, but bear with me. I felt that it was important for you to see things from my perspective.

Tarah is a beast. I mean that in the most feminine and positive way possible.

Tarah has been battling an injury that we can trace back to the 2015 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City. While doing a jump exercise on the ice, she landed a bit funky. After seeing doctors and getting tests done, we were told, in layman's terms, "to keep ice skating and manage the pain with physical therapy and normal care." This was good news to us, and we treated the knee as prescribed for the 2015-16 season, which ended pretty well for us at the U.S. championships.

As we continued on toward worlds that season, the pain in Tarah's right knee increased, especially on the landings of throws. Upon finishing the season, we were determined to find a way to help Tarah skate pain free. With the help of U.S. Figure Skating doctors and staff, we searched for a solution, and Tarah continued to work hard in PT.

But Tarah's pain never went away; in fact, it got worse. It became excruciating. I watched as my partner went from being in peak physical condition to feeling so much pain after skating that I had to help her up the stairs to our apartment. We made it to the 2017 U.S. Championships in Kansas City but had to withdraw after the short program.

Fast forward to Valentine's Day 2017. We traveled up to the wonderful Vail Valley Medical Center, and after meeting with Dr. Robert LaPrade, Tarah had surgery the following day, Feb. 14. While our season being cut short was, to put it lightly, a bummer, it is truly an example of everything happening for a reason.

Needless to say, last year was A LOT for Tarah. This is not a depressing story, though. This is a story of great strength and perseverance. Tarah recently took her knee surgery in stride like the total champ she is. After not walking for seven weeks, to let her new cadaver tendon take hold in her bionic knee, she began the journey back. We've experienced a lot of firsts and strides forward as Tarah has spent months recovering at the amazing Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She has now been home for a month, and is back training again.

We are taking things slowly, as we are determined to prevent her knee pain from coming back. She has already made great progress in skating, and even jumping, and we just finished choreographing our short program and free skate in the last two weeks. There is so much we could talk about on choreography that it deserves its own blog post (coming soon!).

Tarah is not one to brag about how much she has endured -- she is more the type to shrug it off as being "just part of the job" -- but I thought it was important for you all to know the true strength and grit that reside inside her.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Tarah did end up helping me edit this. ;)