‘Real-life stuff’ takes its toll on Flax­eys at tri­als

Regina Leader-Post - - SPORTS - TED WY­MAN

Caleb Flaxey is com­pletely OT­TAWA gut­ted.

It has been an aw­ful week for the two teams he is coach­ing in the Cana­dian Olympic curl­ing tri­als and he some­how feels re­spon­si­ble.

“I un­der­stand it was out of my con­trol, it was a health thing, but for it to hap­pen dur­ing this week, I’m truly dev­as­tated, heart­bro­ken to have put both teams in that sit­u­a­tion.”

Flaxey ar­rived at the Olympic tri­als Nov. 30 to work as coach for both his wife Al­li­son’s team and the Brad Ja­cobs team.

The 34-year-old was feel­ing good de­spite be­ing just a few weeks re­moved from hipreplace­ment surgery. He has had Legg-Calve-Perthes dis­ease, a de­gen­er­a­tive hip disor­der, since he was a child. His hip be­came so arthritic he needed surgery.

On Fri­day, he no­ticed his in­ci­sion, which had been com­pletely sealed, was open­ing up again. He called his sur­geon, who sus­pected a pos­si­ble in­fec­tion and told Flaxey to get back to the North York Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Toronto as quickly as pos­si­ble.

He flew out Sun­day and later that day was in surgery again, hav­ing the parts from the orig­i­nal hip re­place­ment re­placed. He’s now on an IV for the next six weeks to clear out any re­main­ing in­fec­tion.

He’s deal­ing with pain, walk­ing at about 60 per cent and car­ry­ing a heavy load. He is ter­ri­bly up­set about the tim­ing of the sit­u­a­tion, which left his wife with more on her mind than she needed dur­ing the big­gest event of her curl­ing life.

Al­li­son’s team is 0-7, while things haven’t been much bet­ter with the Ja­cobs four­some, which was 2-4 head­ing into an evening draw game against Mike McEwen.

“I love both teams and for an event that hap­pens once ev­ery four years, for it to hap­pen right now, is so un­for­tu­nate,” Flaxey said. “Again, com­pletely gut­ted. I want to wear a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity for what’s go­ing on this week.”

Amaz­ingly, Flaxey made it back to Ot­tawa by Wed­nes­day and re­sumed his role as coach of both teams.

He even coached them both at the ex­act same time, as they were play­ing on ad­join­ing sheets Thurs­day morn­ing. Al­li­son said on Tues­day that her hus­band would not be back, but he some­how made it the very next day.

“I wanted to get back here as soon as I could and help both teams out for the last few days,” he said.

“I was hop­ing to come back, more or less try­ing to get back for her, try­ing to sur­prise her. She’s had a tough week be­cause of this. She had to play a game Sun­day night against (Jen­nifer) Jones, her sec­ond game, and I went into surgery at 5:30, six o’clock. She didn’t re­ally know what was go­ing on, how ex­ten­sive it was.

“She’s had a few mo­ments this week where she’s been car­ry­ing some heavy weight. She’s a tough girl, but it’s real-life stuff.”

Flaxey’s clearly pretty tough, too. He’s not us­ing a walker or crutches or even a cane to get around the rink.

The one good piece of news is it now seems like he’s go­ing to fi­nally be free of the pain that had dogged him since child­hood.

“The pain be­fore was so ex­cru­ci­at­ing,” he said.

“The pain that I’m in now is ac­tu­ally less than what I was in.”

Now, if he can just stop be­ing so hard on him­self.


Al­li­son Flaxey’s coach and hus­band Caleb missed part of the tri­als af­ter a sec­ond hip surgery.

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