The Olympics in February look like a long shot after skier heals broken leg
By Beau Eastes / The Bulletin
Published: August 21. 2013 4:00AM PST
Photo: Bend’s Tommy Ford competes in an Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom race this past December in Alta Badia, Italy – Mitchell Gunn / ESPA
For Tommy Ford, the road back to international alpine ski racing includes learning to surf, reconnecting with the town he grew up in, and a whole lot of singletrack.
In January, Ford, an eight-time U.S. national champion and a 2010 Olympian, fractured his right femur (thighbone) while freeskiing in the French Alps. Since then, he has been rehabilitating in his hometown of Bend with the goal of getting back on skis in the coming winter.
“It’s hard to know what to expect,” says Ford, who still has screws and a titanium rod in his right leg to aid in the healing process. “The muscle (quadriceps and hamstring) was pretty mangled (after the accident). But the brand new muscle is learning pretty quick. It’s been fun and I’ve seen a lot of acceleration (in progress) the last three or four weeks.”
In Park City, Utah, last week, Ford worked out for U.S. Ski Team officials and ran for the first time since his wreck in January. Using an anti-gravity treadmill that allowed him to jog on just 50 percent of his body weight, Ford was pleased with the early results.