Schlopy Working Toward Possible Return


January 7, 2007
PARK CITY, UTAH - (USST News Bureau Release) - Three-time Olympian Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT), injured in a training crash in mid-December, says he could miss the next month or so of World Cup racing while he recuperates from his injuries.

"I crashed two days before Alta Badia (Italy, where the men raced a giant slalom and slalom Dec. 17-18) and suffered a bone bruise and torn articular cartilage (in his left knee) and other bumps," he said. "The timing couldn't have been worse, two days before two races. ... It was bad timing but, at the same time, it doesn't require surgery.

"I'm a firm believer in taking care of injuries on the front side and then you can gain time on the back side when you don't have problems" because you've taken it conservatively to begin with," he said. "Going to the conservative side, it's really just a waiting game."

U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt hopes Schlopy is back in time for the World Championships Feb. 3-18 in Are, Sweden, "but health always comes first. He's conservative in his head, but Erik's not conservative in his rehab. He's certainly motivated and I've seen him doing some workouts, so I know he's working to get back...when he's healthy. We're hopeful because he's certainly one of our marquee athletes in giant slalom."

Schlopy, 34, giant slalom bronze medalist at the 2003 alpine World Championships and a seven-time U.S. champion, has met with U.S. Ski Team surgeon Dr. Vernon Cooley and will meet with him in late January to review the progress in his rehabilitation. He can do core and upper body workouts to help maintain his conditioning, Schlopy said, but no strength drills because of the pain in his left knee.

"I can't 'load' the knee (in weightlifting) but I can work around it, do hip mobility and other exercises, but I can't load it without having pain," he said. "I want to stick to treating it conservatively."