Born in Cameguey Cuba, Yosvani Ramos has been in love with ballet since he was young. He began performing in 4th grade. And, in 1998, it became obvious that he chose the right career path, winning the gold medal at the Paris International Ballet Competition.
His resume from there only grew, and in 2015, he joined the Colorado Ballet at the beginning of the 2015-16 season as principal dancer. Then, in November of last year, an awkward landing in a Nutcracker rehearsal put his career in jeopardy.
"I've sprained my ankle many times so I know that that feels like," Ramos said. "This was a completely different feeling, and when I turned and I looked, I could see the Achilles tendon wasn't there anymore. I started sobbing because at 37 I thought there's no way I'm coming back from this."
There's nothing worse for an athlete than an injury, but there's no doubt that it's better to happen now than back then. Advances in technology have saved careers or lengthened them.
"I think there's been significant evolution in the treatment of Achilles injuries, and in particular, of minimally invasive techniques to fix Achilles injuries, decrease surgical risk and have significantly decreased on return to activity in sport," said Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Joshua Metzl.
UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver now offers a marker-less motion analysis known as DARI, or Dynamic Athletics Research Institute.
"When we take everyone through this system, we essentially put an avatar over them," said UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver Sports Performance coach Matt Nabers. "The system tracks every joint, and we take them through a battery of tests. And, the system accesses range of motion and strength."
Thanks to technology, physical therapy, and his Dr. Metzl, Yosvani Ramos will return to performing in October, less than one year after his injury.