Norwegian Olympic Alpine skiing champion Kjetil Jansrud, deemed out for the season after a Dec. 3 race crash, announced Sunday that he will return for the Olympics.
Jansrud, 36 and the most decorated active Alpine skier with five Olympic medals, was expected to undergo season-ending surgery in December for knee ligament damage from his super-G crash in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
“It’s been quite a journey from my crash in Beaver Creek, where I was looking at 6-9 months of rehabilitation and up til the point early January when it was apparent my mcl would heal itself, the acl seemed strong and we put our eyes on the Olympics,” was posted on Jansrud’s social media. “I feel lucky that my body has healed in a way that I couldn’t expect it would – the chance was there, but postponing surgery on a tiny hope isn’t always the right decision.”
Jansrud shared video of skiing in Kvitfjell, Norway, five weeks after the crash.
“There were no reactions in the knee,” he said in the video. “Every day there is significant progress. I can print the boarding passes now and show that 36-year-olds can fight for medals as well.”
Jansrud’s Olympic super-G gold in 2014 came a year after tearing an ACL in the world championships super-G.
He is the most decorated active men’s speed racer with 21 World Cup wins between downhill and super-G.
Last season marked the first time since 2012-13 that Jansrud did not win a World Cup race. His last major victory was the 2019 World Championships downhill. He reportedly said before this season that it would probably be his last before retirement.
Countryman Aleksander Aamodt Kilde has emerged as the world’s top speed skier, leading the World Cup standings in the downhill and super-G.
A Norwegian man has won Olympic Alpine skiing gold at each of the last eight Winter Games dating to 1992.
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