Knee surgery for Jan Hudec

24 January 2015 08:54
Jan Hudec
Jan Hudec -
Agence Zoom

Jan Hudec, the Sochi bronze medalist and the first Canadian in 20 years to win an alpine Olympic medal, has made the tough decision to go under the knife, again.

The 33-year-old Canadian Cowboy from Calgary, AB who is no stranger to injury or the ability to make a comeback, said he is not done yet. Hudec, suffered a bone bruise on December 19, 2014 while racing the men’s downhill in Val Gardena, ITA and returned from Europe to Calgary last week, as his recovery was not progressing as it should have.

“Hudec underwent arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday afternoon to address a torn meniscus sustained in Val Gardena,” said Dr. Stephen French, one of the lead physicians for the Canadian men’s speed team. “Jan is in good spirits after his surgery and will begin his post surgical rehabilitation immediately with the goal to return to the World Cup when fully rehabilitated and ready for competition in the 2015-16 season.” 

Hudec is known for being one of the most naturally gifted ski racers on the World Cup circuit. However, he has had numerous injuries throughout his career, which he has overcome; and has done so successfully.

“I had to step back to make the right choice.” Hudec said. “I tried to put everything into perspective, where the season is currently at, in addition to the fact that I want to continue skiing. I am not done racing, I don’t want this to be my last year. I made this decision, looking long-term and what is in the best interest for myself, my body and next season.” 

The decision to come home and start the rehabilitation process post surgery was not an easy one for Hudec.  His preseason training was very successful, leading into the World Cup season feeling the strongest he ever felt at the start of a season.  Jan is no stranger to (knee) injuries and the collective decision between himself, his coaches and medical team is to now go in and fix the problem.

“The dedication, drive and commitment Jan has to ski racing is incredible,” said Paul Kristofic, VP of Sport at Alpine Canada Alpin. “I know this is a tough decision for Jan, however we are confident that he will work hard on his recovery to do his best to return to competition as soon as possible.” 

Hudec’s start to the 2014-15 season was strong, finishing 9th at Lake Louise in the men’s Super-G, in addition to 3 other top 20 finishes before injuring his knee in Val Gardena.

“It is very tough.” Hudec said on deciding to move forward with surgery mid-season. “I want to be at World Champs this year. I really enjoy Beaver Creek, the tracks and the atmosphere. To miss the World Championships there is difficult. But everything else points to this being the right decision for me.”

“Overall I feel strong. The rest of my body and ligaments surrounding my knee are the strongest they have ever been. That gives me confidence, as well as a good base to built the strength in my knee during the recovery.”

Hudec underwent surgery yesterday in Calgary, posting his infamous #hospitalseries social media posts (@pandahausofrock) for his fans to ride along his road to recovery.