Canadian skier overcomes injury, getting dropped from team to reach Sochi
Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:34PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:13PM EST
Despite a 20th-place finish in the women’s downhill Wednesday, Canadian skier Larisa Yurkiw is celebrating an “incredible season” that has marked her comeback from an injury that kept her out of the Vancouver Games four years ago.
On an historic day when two skiers tied for first place in the women’s downhill, Yurkiw finished well back in a time of one minute and 43 seconds.
“If I inspired one kid to be a little braver the next day, then it was all worth it,” Yurkiw told CTV News.
Yurkiw’s time was the result of a gruelling comeback from a devastating injury that left her watching the Vancouver Olympics from her couch.
“I felt as a parent, I hope she can run again, ski again, go on with her life again in another way,” her father, Dennis, told CTV.
After surgery and gruelling rehab, Yurkiw was able to return to the hill, but struggled to produce the results expected of an elite skier. She was dropped from the national team.
“I don’t know if I am just too stubborn, but I wasn’t okay with that,” Yurkiw said.
Yurkiw was forced to dip into her own savings to continue to train. When she depleted her savings, she began to fundraise so she could hire a coach.
Terry Graham’s company, TG Group, which is based in Yurkiw’s hometown of Owen Sound, Ont., came through with funding.
“In my own life, there was somebody that stood up,” Graham told CTV News. “And when we saw Larisa going through those gauntlet of challenges, it was our opportunity to stand up.”
In addition to Graham’s help, residents in her hometown would ring the doorbell at the family home, “or leave money in the mailbox,” her mother, Linda Montgomery, said.
The donations helped Yurkiw race her way back onto the national team and earn a spot in Sochi.
She had been hoping for a podium finish, and said Wednesday’s result is “devastating.
“But in the big picture it is still the most incredible season I have had in my whole career.”
Yurkiw will take another crack at the podium this weekend in the super-G.
With a report from CTV’s Genevieve Beauchemin