Ellie Weiler bounces back from torn ACL to win Revolution Tour
Frisco snowboarder Ellie Weiler battled through snowy conditions on Thursday, March 4, to capture the Revolution Tour Copper Mountain and overall Rev Tour women’s snowboard slopestyle championship.
The accomplishment capped a comeback two years in the making for the Team Summit rider who’s recovered from a torn ACL and medial meniscus. With an 85.25 on the Woodward Copper slopestyle course Thursday, Weiler secured her first Rev Tour gold medal after previously medaling twice at Rev Tours two years ago.
“It obviously means a ton to me,” Weiler said Friday. “I try and be the hardest worker I can be because I can’t control what other people are doing. A lot of people look and say, ‘That person did this. I have to change my run.’ But sticking and focusing on yourself and what you can control will result in the best situation. It’s about working hard, even if that’s not the funnest thing to do.”
Weiler said she came into training this year with a vengeance after a more relaxed approach in her first season recovering from the torn ACL in 2019-20. When the pandemic began last March and shut down snowboarding, Weiler said she realized a sense of urgency was needed for her recovery. She said she learned “there may not be a tomorrow to try things.”
During the recovery, Weiler experienced physical self-doubt, something that hadn’t happened with previous injuries. That’s because she rode for weeks in 2019 following the ACL tear without knowledge the injury was as serious as it was.
Weiler continued to compete in the 2019 USA Snowboard and Freeski Nationals thinking the swelling in her leg was a sprain. Once doctors alerted her to the severity of the situation, she started the recovery process.
Since then, she’s blossomed into a rider who’s now better than she was before the injury, including landing a switch (riding with opposite foot forward) 540-degree spin rotating to her board’s backside on the slopestyle course’s first jump Thursday. Then, on the course’s third jump, Weiler landed what’s becoming a trademark trick for her: a tucknee wildcat backflip where she grabbed her board so well the tail hit her head.
Weiler landing the tricks on the jumps-first course set her up well for the rails to follow. Weiler’s familiarity with the course from practicing there with Team Summit fueled her confidence heading into a contest that was once slated for Park City snow.
“I like rails at the end of the course just because I know what speed I need to take into the jumps,” Weiler said. “And with the rails at the end, it doesn’t matter if I bobble one of the rails. It’s the end of course, as opposed to the rails being at the beginning and the whole run could be thrown off.”
Weiler said she’s not sure what the Rev Tour result might mean for her in terms of earning a spot on the U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team for slopestyle or World Cup spots in general. For now, she hopes the accomplishment — and her likely bumping up from 58th into the 40s in the World Snowboard Points List Ranking — gets her an invite to Land Rover Grands Prix and World Cups next year. She won’t compete at the Grand Prix in Aspen later this month unless another invitee drops out.
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