LEWISVILLE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Orthofix Medical Inc. (NASDAQ:OFIX), a global medical device company with a spine and orthopedics focus, today announced its continued sponsorship of Olympic Gold Medalist and Orthofix Spine Patient Laura Wilkinson in her quest for the Tokyo Olympics.
Wilkinson, a three-time U.S. Olympic Platform Diver, is competing for a spot on the Diving Team to represent the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics, postponed from 2020 until summer 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Coping with challenges is nothing new for Wilkinson who competed with a broken foot at her first Olympics. In one of the most famous upsets in Olympic history, Wilkinson came from behind to win the 2000 Olympic gold medal in platform diving. After winning the 2004 World Cup and the 2005 World Championships, she became the first woman in history to win all three coveted world diving titles.
At age 39, Wilkinson decided to come out of retirement in 2017, and she started training for the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately, cervical disc degeneration brought her plans to an abrupt halt in 2018; years of hitting the water at 35 miles per hour had taken a toll on her spine. Wilkinson’s surgeon performed a successful spine fusion using Orthofix’s comprehensive cervical solutions: an Orthofix cervical plate system to stabilize her spine, the Trinity ELITE™ allograft to aid in bone fusion, and the CervicalStim™ device to stimulate bone growth following surgery. Soon, Wilkinson was back diving in the pool, determined to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“We are very proud to continue to sponsor Laura on her incredible journey,” said Jon Serbousek, Orthofix President and CEO. “Our mission at Orthofix is to improve patient mobility through our devices and solutions, enabling patients to live active lives. Helping Laura on her path to potentially becoming a four-time Olympian has been an inspiration for all of us and for everyone who has heard her story.”
“I am grateful to partner with Orthofix as I train to fulfill my dream of once again competing in the summer Olympics,” said Wilkinson. “Without my successful spine fusion and recovery, it would have been difficult to be a wife and the mother to four young children, let alone to be back competing as an athlete at a world-class level.”
Wilkinson also appreciates the opportunity to educate people about her spine fusion.
“When my doctor first told me that I needed spinal fusion surgery, I have to admit it was a little scary,” added Wilkinson. “That’s one of the reasons why I started sharing my journey on social media and posting the different stages I was going through. I wanted people to see that you can overcome these challenges and get your life back. It was important to me to encourage other people who were dealing with cervical disc degeneration and showcase a possible path for recovery.”
The Tokyo Summer Olympics are scheduled for July 23, 2021 through August 8, 2021. Wilkinson will compete to qualify at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Indianapolis June 6-13, 2021.
“The best advice that my Coach Kenny Armstrong has ever given me was to aim for the top,” said Wilkinson. “Don’t just try and make the Olympic team, go to win. Go big or go home.”
Orthofix Medical Inc. is a global medical device company with a spine and orthopedics focus. The Company’s mission is to deliver innovative, quality-driven solutions as we partner with health care professionals to improve patient mobility. Headquartered in Lewisville, Texas, Orthofix’s spine and orthopedics products are distributed in more than 70 countries via the Company’s sales representatives and distributors. For more information, please visit www.Orthofix.com.
About Laura Wilkinson
Three-time Olympian Laura Wilkinson won the 2000 Olympic Gold Medal, the 2004 World Cup and the 2005 World Championships, becoming the first woman in history to win all three world titles in platform diving. In addition, she has won 19 U.S. National Titles, been voted by the American public the 2000 U.S. Olympic Spirit Award winner and was nominated for an ESPY award. Wilkinson has also been inducted into the University of Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame, the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Legends, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She and her husband Eriek are the proud parents of four children. For more information, visit www.LauraWilkinson.com or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and her podcast “The Pursuit of Gold.”