Annie Wiese

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.18.26 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.18.13 PM.png

My name is Annie Wiese and I’m a sophomore student-athlete on the women’s diving team at the University of Notre Dame. On August 4, 2013, I broke my femur and my tibia in the warmup of the USA Diving National Championship meet. I was 14 years old. I remember being pulled out of the pool, and, traumatically, being too afraid to look down at my leg in fear that it was bending the wrong way. I knew immediately that my chances of competing that day were gone. I could not pretend I didn’t hear my bones break each other as I did my hurdle on the board. I had suffered a tibial plateau fracture and would need trauma surgery to stabilize the bones with 3 screws and bone cadaver to fill the dent in my tibia left by my femur. Through the grace of God, I did not tear every ligament in my knee like 99% of other people who suffer the same injury do. I had surgery two weeks later and laid in bed until it was time to relearn how to walk using a zero gravity treadmill three days per week for eight weeks. I remember taking my first steps in early November. It had been three months since I put any weight on my leg. The recovery time was long and therapy was draining. I watched my muscles dwindle. I remember laying in bed thinking my dreams of division one college sports and national championship competitions were slipping away. While I was out, though, I discovered so many things about myself. I found new passions. I found that I could be good at other activities. I realized that there is a world outside of sports. Not only is the world an amazing place, but there are so many extraordinary things to pursue besides sports. One year later, I was able to return to the national championship meet. I dove ten meter synchro with my teammate and we earned a bronze medal. Our third place finish at that competition qualified us for the 2016 Olympic Trials. It was such a beautiful moment - one that took so much fight in me to arrive at. My leg was better, but more importantly, I was better. Today, there is so much more to me than the sport I do. I thought diving was my identity and without it I was lost. I thought I didn’t have a purpose anymore. My injury allowed me to find myself. I discovered other things I love. I realized that diving is just something I do, not who I am. My injury helped me transform into someone who has a variety of interests and passions. I was able to come to Notre Dame because I know who I am and I know where I want to go in the future. With or without my sport, I’m a happy, curious college student but I’m very grateful for the experiences diving has given me.

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 3.18.34 PM.png
Bailey Cartwright