Sullivan Reinjures Knee, Season Over


SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. Oct. 29, 2004 (USSA) - Olympic downhiller Marco Sullivan (24; Squaw Valley, CA), who lost last season because of torn knee ligaments, has reinjured his right knee and will miss the 2005 World Cup season, the U.S. Ski Team announced. Sullivan, who said he plans to be racing in the 2006 Olympics, faces surgery Tuesday.

Melinda Roalstad, U.S. Ski Team medical director, said the surgery was expected to take place in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., at Barton Memorial Hospital by Dr. Terry Orr, men's alpine Ski Team physician. "Marco will miss this season," she said.

Almost a year ago, Sullivan originally tore his right anterior cruciate, lateral and medial collateral ligaments in addition to a meniscus injury in a training crash last Dec. 4 at Beaver Creek, Colo., before a World Cup downhill. He reinjured the same knee last week during training in Tignes, France, and flew home over the weekend.

"I was training super G in Tignes and it was a kinda foggy day," Sullivan said. "I hit a small compression and crashed but it wasn't really a crash because I went down, slid on my hip and my outside ski yanked away from me real quick, hyper-extending the leg. I bounced right back up and I knew I was hurt but I didn't know how serious it was.

"I skied down a couple more times outside the course, free-skied the mountain, trying to feel it out and realized it was serious.

"It's the same knee as last year and Dr. Orr said all the damage from last season has healed, so that's good. I was bummed for a couple of days," Sullivan said, "but the Olympics are a big motivator. I'm using them as motivation and I'm planning on being back next season. I'm still relatively young and can come back, and that's what I'm going to do.

Sullivan, the 2002 U.S. super G champion, added he tore his left ACL while racing at the 2000 Junior World Championships. "After this, I'll have two reconstructed ACLs, and the doctors say they should be way stronger than normal. I know what to expect in my rehab and I'm definitely motivated to be back in the Olympics next season," he said.