May 24, 2019 by John Fernandez
Watch Now: World Champion Athlete Gets Back In the Game
(VIDEO: World champion Shawn Ramirez trains on the lake at West Kendall Baptist Hospital as he recovers from a serious ankle injury.)
It was a Thanksgiving morning filled with a yearly Ramirez family tradition – a friendly soccer game between kids and parents of this fitness-minded group. But when world champion CrossFit star Shawn Ramirez planted his left foot to kick a ball, everything changed. Ramirez felt an audible pop, and fell to the ground with a serious ankle injury involving multiple fractures and damage to the ligaments in his ankle.
Known as “The Ram” in fitness circles, the 41-year-old Ramirez had just finished winning his second consecutive world championship, and was looking forward to competing for a third. After seeking out several opinions on how to repair his ankle from orthopedic surgeons across the country, Ramirez was not optimistic about his upcoming season. Most of the procedures doctors were suggesting would have him missing the 2016 season, some could even end his career. In a sport where ankle flexibility and leg strength are so important, Ramirez finally found hope close to home.
Ramirez sought out advice from a close friend, someone who knew about coming back from a career-threatening knee injury, former UM and NFL star running back, Willis McGahee. He suggested speaking to the team at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, and that led him to Charles Jordan, M.D., an orthopedic trauma surgeon. Immediately, Ramirez knew this was the right choice. Dr. Jordan and Ramirez devised a plan that included surgery and an intense physical therapy regimen. At 12 weeks post-surgery and Ramirez just competed (and won) the first stage of the 2016 qualifiers. In addition, Ramirez is traveling to Los Angeles this spring to compete on American Ninja Warriors, one of his kids’ favorite shows.
The Baptist Health South Florida News Team chronicles this amazing championship comeback. Watch it now.