For the better part of two decades, Drew Ross has been one of the top skiers in the world, with a string of international and professional wins. 2008, however, marked a veritable turning point in Ross’ storied career. Six days after winning the MasterCraft Pro in Trophy Lakes, South Carolina, Ross sustained an injury that has left him sidelined since.
Cutting to ball four at 39 1∕2 off, the rope inexplicably came off the pylon. The result was a badly broken ankle and a collapsed arch. Ross went from the top of his career to the potential end in that split second. Three reconstructive surgeries followed, including a bone graft from his hip to help realign his now severely in-turned ankle.
Now, almost three years later, he is still fervently rehabbing his injury. “I had spent a lot of time dismissing the prospect of a return to skiing. The notion of failure was too big a let-down to even entertain the thought. But during the last six months I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see improvement.”
Ross is back on the water; he may be in unfamiliar territory, but he’s back. “I’ve been skiing at 34 mph, in small tournaments around Florida. It’s been fun to ski at the same events as my kids.” It is a step that most pros wouldn’t dream of taking. “I don’t care what people think. I’ve had my day, and I’m just happy to be on the water again.”