Nici Schmidhofer has returned to snow almost 10 months (294 days) since her crash in Val d’Isere, France, when she broke through the net and landed in the woods. Schmidhofer sustained a complex knee injury in this crash and had to undergo a total of four operations to repair the damage. Over the past 42 weeks, she has worked hard to comeback from this setback and to keep her Olympic dreams alive. 

The 31-year-old downhill ski racer’s journey to recovery was long and daunting. She spent a total of 42 days in hospital, four months on crutches and then almost two months in rehab to get her body healthy enough to ski again. Absolutely everything was made subordinate to the return on snow, her entire focus was getting strong again. Now this hard work is paying off and the speed specialist has returned to snow in Sölden.

“The feeling of finally being back on the slopes after such a long break from injury is indescribable and difficult to put into words,” Schmidhofer said. “The tension before the first turns was very high and almost comparable to that of many a race. It was a very emotional moment for me and I am really happy that it feels so good, the knee did not react and I am free of pain as far as possible.

“Of course, I am still a long way from racing-like skiing, but if everything goes according to plan, I’d like to travel to Copper, USA with the team in a month. “

Release courtesy of the OSV.