Ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson undergoes reconstructive knee surgery

Sarah Hendrickson
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World champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson underwent right knee surgery Thursday after a training crash last week.

The U.S. Ski Team said it’s too early to issue a specific return to snow date. The women’s ski jumping competition at the Sochi Olympics is Feb. 11.

Hendrickson, 19, needed ACL reconstruction, MCL and meniscal repair after crashing on a training jump in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Aug. 21. Hendrickson was jumping on the large hill in Oberstdorf and set a new personal record of 148 meters. Women’s ski jumping competitions are usually done on the normal hill, where they jump around 100 meters.

“Life has a crazy way of working out and this is definitely not the path I had planned,” Hendrickson said in a press release. “I’m determined to make my coaches, friends, family, country and myself proud by working as hard as I can on my recovery.”

If healthy, she’s considered a co-gold medal favorite in the first women’s ski jumping competition at the Olympics.

Her rival is Japan’s Sara Takanashi, 16, who beat Hendrickson for the 2012-13 World Cup season title. Hendrickson, however, edged Takanashi at the World Championships last February.

At last week’s crash, U.S. teammate Jessica Jerome said she was at the top of the ski jump, didn’t witness the impact but did see the aftermath.

“It kind of looked like every other ski jumping crash, where people are laying in the outrun,” she said. “The sad thing is it’s super unfortunate. We are all really bummed out and trying to be supportive as we can, and unfortunately the injury side of things are a part of sports.”

Hendrickson has appeared in good spirits on Twitter since suffering the injury.

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