Summers is coming for the Winter Games
1 September 2017
Update Friday 8 September: After undergoing a straightforward ACL reconstruction on Tuesday, Brodie Summers is far from ruling out a second Games experience at PyeongChang 2018.
“It will be a significant and compressed rehab, but yes, he can make [PyeongChang]," said Ashley Merkur, head of rehab at the OWIA.
"I had surgery on it yesterday and now I'm on the path to recovery!" Summers said on Wednesday.
"I'm certainly feeling better now that the plan is starting to come together and I know what I'm working towards.
"I look forward to giving you a mind blowing rehab story before PyeongChang!"
Summers has already started a rehabilitation program at the Victorian Institute of Sport.
Original story published Saturday 2 September
MOGUL SKIING: Sochi Olympian Brodie Summers has sustained a knee injury during training but still refuses to “waste a day of training” as he strives towards a second Games experience at PyeongChang 2018.
The 23-year-old had a freak accident during training at Mt Buller on Friday morning, which has ruptured his ACL.
“Quite the mogul I have to deal with. Now it’s time to adjust the game plan, get my knee back to feeling strong and hit the gym harder than I ever have before,” Summers said.
“I’m feeling very fortunate to have a team that is so well set up to deal with these sort of things. The plan is to have a MRI on Monday morning and then head straight to Doc Braun. Then I will have a better idea about where to go from here and time frames,” Summers said.
On-site at Mt Buller was OWIA Head of Rehab Ashley Merkur.
“I had Ash with me at Mt Buller. She broke the news to me straight away that she thought it was a torn ACL and called Doc. They’ve set up a course of action. It’s not a great situation to be in but it’s great to have the support around me.”
Five months out from PyeongChang, he admits “it’s tight”.
“I’m getting through it mentally. We will know more on Monday.”
“Whatever the situation I’m already motivated to give it every bit I’ve got to get the job done. Other people have done it,” he said.
The Melbourne local competed in the Australian Championships in Perisher last week, where he finished fourth behind the Canadian trio Mikael Kingsbury (currently ranked first in the world), Marc Antoine Gagnon and Gabriel Dufresne on the second day of the competition, bouncing back after an unfortunate run on Day 1 where he didn’t finish the course.
“I made a mistake yesterday that cost me, but I was happy to ski the finals today and keep working towards putting together the pieces of my run for the Olympics,” Summers said after his fourth-place finish on Wednesday.
“Whilst not everything went to plan for me here, it was a great intelligence gathering event and I’m happy with my progress so far in this very important year.”
He had planned to defend his prestigious ABOM Moguls Challenge title, which he won for the second time in 2016 alongside his Australian teammate, the current female World Champion and five-time ABOM Champion Britt Cox.
“It’s the longest running FIS mogul event in the world I believe,” Summers said. “And it has a great heritage with former champions including Dale Begg-Smith and Alexandre Bilodeau.
“It’s a duals competition format, which makes it super exciting for the fans because we’re racing side-by-side and the athletes love it just as much because it’s generally a bit of an easier course with massive jumps so we can put on a great show for the crowd!”
Defending that title is now off the table, but his sights remain on PyeongChang.
“The Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport so getting another opportunity to represent Australia at this level is an absolute privilege.
“Every time I think about PyeongChang it just reminds me that I can’t afford to waste a day at training.
“Whether it’s on the hill, in the gym or even at home when I’m working on the mental aspects of my training, it’s always in my mind that the Games are fast approaching and I need to make every day at training count.
“Each day is about improvement and self-betterment and by keeping the focus simple like this I’m confident that I’m on track to achieving my goals in PyeongChang.”
The 2017/18 Mogul Skiing World Cup season, which doubles as the Olympic qualification period for PyeongChang 2018, starts in Ruka, Finland on December 10.
Georgia Thompson/Belinda Noonan