Lynch, Beardsley overcome injuries to succeed
BRECKENRIDGE – This weekend’s FIS ski races, hosted by Quantum Sports Club at Breckenridge, proved to be a fortuitous homecoming for local racer Chelsea Lynch.After a long history with QSC, the 2002 Summit High School graduate opted to spend this winter training in Steamboat. She said the experience has been good, although she hasn’t forgotten her roots.”I still have a lot of ties to this hill,” said Lynch, who won Saturday’s super-G and took fourth on Sunday. “My dad grooms it every night.”Lynch said she has learned a lot from her move to Steamboat, which she made in part to get more exposure to the downhill skiing circuit.
“It’s been awesome,” she said of her recent change of scenery. “Whenever you face a change in life, it teaches you a tremendous amount. It’s been good to have a new home setting.”On Sunday, Lynch finished behind winner Danielle Poleschuk of Canada, runner-up Ann West of the U.S., and third-place finisher Tereza Charova of the Czech Republic.Lynch’s big weekend came just two weeks after she re-aggravated a torn MCL at a national competition in Sugarloaf, Maine. “An MCL heals itself,” she said a moment before admitting that her leg pain has not disappeared.QSC’s Katie Beardsley is another local racer who knows about physical pain. After two consecutive seasons plagued by leg injuries, she returned to competitive skiing this January.The part-time QSC coach took third and sixth, respectively, in the weekend’s super G twinbill, demonstrating that she is back on her feet after her two years of bad luck.The 23-year-old Breck native blew out both of her knees and legs during a violent wreck at Montana’s Big Mountain in 2004. Soon after returning to her beloved sport the following season, she blew out one of her knees again.
Now she’s making the best of a difficult situation.”I feel OK,” she said. “But I’m going in for clean-up surgery this spring.”One of Sunday’s most well-known male skiers has a comeback story similar to Beardsley’s.J.J. Johnson represented the U.S. Ski Team at Sunday’s super G, taking third place on Saturday and fifth on Sunday. The 28-year old, who is now ranked No. 36 in the world, rejoined the U.S. team two years ago following a rare eight-year hiatus.”I was injured and then I got cut,” Johnson said. “But I didn’t want to be that guy at (age) 40 who said ‘I could have done it.’
“I had my first World Cup start at 27. I’m old but I feel young.”Twenty-one-year-old Julia Littman is a much newer addition to the U.S. team. A product of Ski Club Vail, she cracked the U.S. C Team almost one year ago. Littman took fifth place in both Saturday’s and Sunday’s super-G competitions.Sweden’s Patrik Jaerbyn won the men’s super G on both Saturday and Sunday. He was followed on Sunday by Erik Fisher in second and Charles Christianson in third.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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