Dixon to return to snow

13 July 2011 22:21

Canadian veteran Robbie Dixon will be in familiar surroundings when he straps on his skis and makes his long-awaited return to snow later this week. 

The 26-year-old from Whistler, B.C., sat out the second half of the 2010/11 World Cup season after suffering a concussion in a crash at a World Cup race in Bormio, Italy, in December 2010.

But after receiving medical clearance to return to full training, Dixon plans to spend Thursday doing a few gentle runs on the glacier at Whistler Blackcomb, the mountain on which he spent countless hours skiing as a kid.

“I’m stoked about it,” said Dixon, who was born in North Vancouver. “It’s been six months, so hopefully I will still remember how to ski when I get up there!"

“I received clearance to start training again in May and I’ve been able to do all the dryland workouts with the team. I’ve been completely symptom-free. My head feels 100 per cent and my body feels 100 per cent.”

At the time of the crash, Dixon hoped to return to action before the end of the 2010/11 season but lingering concussion symptoms forced him to be patient on the road to recovery.

“I didn’t realize the significance of the injury at the time,” said Dixon. “I stayed in Europe and hoped to return but the symptoms were hanging around. I thought,‘This isn’t right. Something’s up.’ By April I was feeling better again.”

After receiving clearance to return to the gym, Dixon immersed himself in the team’s summer training program and got himself into great shape. To celebrate working his way back to good health, Dixon decided to treat himself to some new wheels.

“I bought a Harley-Davidson Nightster 1200,” said Dixon, who had been unable to ride while experiencing concussion-related symptoms. “I’ve always loved motorcycles and this is my third one."

“I’m really excited about getting back on snow. It’s been a long time so it’s about bringing it back to basics and getting my feet back in boots.”

If all goes well, Dixon is due to join the rest of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team’s top speed skiers at their first summer ski camp in Zermatt, Switzerland, later this month.

Dixon is expected to be joined at the Swiss camp by two teammates who are also recovering from injury. John Kucera, the 2009 world downhill champion, is due to strap on skis for the first time since reinjuring his leg while forerunning in February. His original injury dates back to November 2009. Kucera’s teammate Louis-Pierre Hélie is also due to make his return from a concussion and leg injury suffered in Bormio in December 2010.