Downhill skier John Kucera says it’s “a bummer” he will miss the 2010 Winter Olympics but he’s already looking forward to returning to racing next season.
“Right when I crashed, and I was sliding on the hill and I realized my leg was broken, I pretty much came to peace with it right there,” Kucera said in a conference call Thursday.
“Skiing is a funny sport. It’s a dangerous sport and injuries are a reality. Once I knew I was out for the season, I’m not dwelling on it any more. I’m just trying to look forward to letting this heal up properly and getting back to work and making my comeback.”
Kucera, 25, fractured the tibia and fibula in his left leg Sunday skiing in the opening super-giant slalom race of the World Cup season at Lake Louise, Alta. One of the broken bones pierced his calf.
The reigning world downhill champion was taken off the hill by helicopter and underwent surgery that evening in Banff, Alta.
The injury ended Kucera’s season and dashed his dreams of competing for a medal at the 2010 Games in Whistler, B.C.
Kucera knows he has a long rehabilitation in front of him but is expected to fully recover.
“It will be a tough chapter in my career but I think it will be one where I am going to learn a lot of lessons and build a lot of character,” said Kucera, who was speaking from his hospital bed.
The Calgary resident was considered a medal threat in both the downhill and super-G at the Games. He also was a darkhorse in the giant slalom.
Kucera finished sixth and was the top Canadian in the opening downhill race of the World Cup season Saturday.