Ellie Davenport overcomes scoliosis while competing at highest level of log rolling
Ellie Davenport isn’t a bump on a log, she is a superstar on a log. The 25-year-old from Hudson is a three time world champion log roller and doing so with severe scoliosis in her spine.
Davenport was introduced to log rolling at 13-years-old, roughly the same age she had to wear a body brace for her spine. The brace had to be worn 23 hours a day, seven days a week for four years. That didn’t stop her from becoming a high profile log roller.
“I knew I had potential because by 15 I went professional,” said Davenport. “I had one of the fastest turnarounds of any world champion log roller ever. From seeing the sport to going pro to winning a title.”
At age 15, doctors recommended Davenport have a spinal fusion surgery. That surgery likely would’ve ended her log rolling career. She made a deal with her surgeon that she wanted to win a world championship before having the surgery. 10 years later, she has won three world titles, still no surgery and is going strong.
The fact is, she still has scoliosis. She has three curves in her back that set her spine 120 degrees off center. Her legs are slightly different lengths due to the torque on her pelvis.
Each summer, Davenport has to relearn her bodies’ new balance points after her spine has shifted.
Davenport said, “every year when I come back, I get on the log and I’m like where do my arms go? How high do I bring my knees up? How much do I bend my knees? Because it changes.”
Davenport’s desire to win has made her one of the best log rollers in the world. Beating opponents on the log, and defying the odds of her condition.
“If I did not have Scoliosis I think I would be an incredibly different person and athlete,” said Davenport. “I think a lot of my drive came from proving to myself that it didn’t matter, it’s not a disability, it’s a difference. There shouldn’t be barriers to entry based on what you look like or what you’re missing.”
Davenport is competing in Hayward, WI this weekend at the Lumberjack World Championships. She is also a tri-athlete and has more of those competitions on her mind.
For more information on Davenport’s journey with scoliosis, click here.