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Homegrown X Games skier will return to Pittsburgh for ACL rehab

August 6, 2018

Two-time X Games gold medalist, Chartiers Valley grad and 2014 ESPN Action Sport Athlete of the Year Tom Wallisch will prepare for his return to skiing through the Allegheny Health Network’s Sports Performance program.

Wallisch underwent surgery and initial rehabilitation in Salt Lake City after suffering an ACL tear in his right knee, an injury that left him unable to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Wallisch will complete a comprehensive sports performance and athletic rehabilitation program under the direction of Frank Velasquez Jr., AHN’s Sports Performance director, at the AHN Sports Complex at Cool Springs in Bethel Park. Wallisch intends to make a full return to skiing in October of this year.

“We look forward to helping him get back to his optimal performance level so that he can further extend his already remarkable career in skiing,” Velasquez Jr. said.

A 2011-15 U.S. Ski Team competitor, Wallisch holds the world record for longest rail slide, at 424 feet. He is also a two-time X Games gold medalist, 2013 FIS World Champion, 2012 Dew Tour winner, the 2014 ESPN Action Sport Athlete of the Year, and a two-time top AFP-ranked slopestyle skier.

Wallisch said Velasquez’s expertise is second to none.

“Having specialized resources and a trainer who truly understands your specific sport and individual needs is so invaluable not just for professional athletes, but for athletes at all levels,” he said.

In addition to his goal of returning to skiing, Wallisch hopes to host regional skiing clinics and to become a model for the area’s youth.

On Nov. 10, Wallisch and AHN will participate in a ski clinic at Seven Springs Mountain Resort which will feature season readiness training, injury prevention education, and more.

Additional details will be announced in the fall, AHN officials said.

“Coming from an area that isn’t known for producing competitive skiers, I’m extremely passionate about inspiring kids in the Pittsburgh region to pursue the sport,” Wallisch said. “I’m excited to establish roots and partnerships in this region, and explore ways in which AHN and I, together, can drive interest in skiing, as well as raise awareness of injury prevention and the value of individualized sports performance training.”

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