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Scott steadily building towards PyeongChang push

22 June 2017

ALPINE SKIING: Speeding down a hill in excess of 100 km/ph is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Add to that one of the toughest courses on tour and sometimes things can go horribly wrong.

Unfortunately that is exactly what happened at the start of this year for rising Australian alpine star Alec Scott.

The 20-year-old was competing at a Europa Cup Giant Slalom event in Val d'Isère, France, when a crash put a major dent in Scott’s PyeongChang 2018 preparations.

“The race was down the slope known as 'The Face', notoriously known for its terrain and because it's always injected with water to make it a solid and icy surface,” said the Falls Creek skier.

“I was about half way down the course when I came into a compression a little on the tails of my skis. I hit the compression and next thing I heard was a pop and felt 3 more impacts on my knee.

“I went through the Giant Slalom gate and into the safety netting and was unable to move my knee and I was in excruciating pain. I later found out I had torn my ACL, tore both of my Menisci, one being dislocated into my knee joint and bad bone bruising.”

Scott had emergency surgery in Innsbruck, Austria, and has been in recovery mode for the past five months.

“Due to the severity of my injury I'm not going to rush getting back on snow. I'll be taking the time I have to not just get my knee back to 100% but get my whole body stronger and fitter than it has ever been before.

“Rehab is going great, I'm at a high performance centre in Europe where I'm close to my doctor and physio. I'm reaching all the targets expected of my knee and the body. I spend around 4.5 hours in the gym every day.”

The injury followed some impressive results in Austria for Scott whose was recognised with a nomination for the Ski and Snowboard Australia Young Athlete of the Year award for 2017.

He is now aiming for a return to the snow in September where he will hope to build towards qualifying for his debut Olympic appearance at PyeongChang 2018.

“My goals for the coming season is to enjoy it, if I'm enjoying the skiing I ski my best. I'm also aiming to get back on to the World Cup and Europa Cup circuit and be competitive there.

“I'm confident I can make it to the Olympics, I've already qualified through the FIS criteria. I'm currently ranked just outside the top 100 in the world and 4th in my age group (with 13 points) in Giant Slalom and I'll be working on getting my Slalom points down leading into Pyeongchang.”

If everything goes to plan then Scott will be realising a dream a long time in the making come February next year.

“I would be incredibly happy and proud to not only represent my country at the Olympic Games but to go there and be competitive, to show everyone what Australia is about.

“It's something I've been working towards for the last 13 years.”

While Scott will still be working hard off the snow, many of his teammates and fellow PyeongChang hopefuls will line up at the Australian Championships at Mt Hotham from August 7-11.

Following the Australian and New Zealand winter season Australia’s alpine athletes will return to Europe in a bid to book their spots for next year’s Winter Games. 

Matt Bartolo

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