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Totman takes terrible tumble

Larry Fisher
Wednesday August 02, 2006
Lloydminster Meridian Booster

Talk about catching a bad break – or sprain as it would turn out to be.

Lloydminster Aquanauts swimmer Cory Totman was considered a lock to earn Zone 7 a medal in the 15-to-17-year-old boys’ 100-metre backstroke and most expected him to push for the podium in two of his five other events at this past weekend’s Alberta Summer Games in Red Deer.

Totman didn’t disappoint early on, splashing his way to a personal best in the 200-metre Individual Medley Friday morning in what was the fifth fastest qualifying time at 2:34.15. However, a freak accident prior to only his second preliminary heat ended all hopes of medalling, and subsequently sent Totman to hospital with what was later diagnosed as a badly sprained ankle with extensive ligament damage.

“As soon as I hopped in I just felt searing pain throughout my body. The split second I was in the water I knew already then I was done for the games,” said Totman, who rolled his ankle forward on impact with the pool floor. “I was pretty choked up, it was hard to swallow having worked all year towards medalling there and making a serious run at provincials, and now not being able to do either.”

Hurting himself was likely the last thing on Totman’s mind as he plunged into the water for the 200-metre backstroke – another event he was eyeing a Top 5 finish in – but in a cruel twist of fate, he was too tall for his own good and the shallow waters did little to cushion the blow. Immediately following the incident, Totman was transported by ambulance to the Red Deer Hospital where he was fitted for a partial cast before returning to the pool to root on his Zone 7 teammates.

Back home in Lloydminster on Monday, which just so happened to be his 18th birthday, Totman had a date with the doctor. While he remained upbeat and optimistic for a return to the water in time for provincials, starting Aug. 18, it wasn’t meant to be as his worst nightmare soon became a reality.

“They are saying three weeks until I can put any weight on it and then I’ll have to go through probably six weeks of physiotherapy because there is ligament damage too,” said Totman, who is literally ending his senior swimming year on a sore note. “Doc said there’s no chance of me being able to go to provincials. I’m going to have to agree with him on that one, because I hadn’t taken off my (partial cast) to look at it since it happened and when we did she was super swollen and gross looking.”

Cory isn’t the first Totman to have his provincial dreams shattered by injury, however. His older brother and current coach, Tyler, broke his wrist only four days prior to provincials a few years back and can relate to Cory’s emotional agony.

“It’s too bad. Cory was set to do very well for us,” said Tyler, who was poolside when the incident took place and could sense something was wrong. “Cory tried to tough it out, he was completely quiet and didn’t show any real noticeable signs of pain, they didn’t even stop the race to be honest, but I could tell something pretty serious must have happened to him.

“It took awhile for it to really sink in because obviously it’s not the way he wanted to go out being that was his last kick at the can for Alberta Summer Games.”

One thing that wasn’t hurt in the whole ordeal, however, was Cory’s sense of humour.

“This just goes to show I really am following in Tyler’s footsteps, only this time that’s not necessarily a good thing,” he said. “I went in with the goal of winning a couple of medals, but in the end I still went out in style – I was the only one that got injured.”

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