Lanning recovering but will skip 2010/2011 season
Despite solid strides in his recovery, U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete TJ Lanning has decided to skip the 2011 Audi FIS Ski World Cup season in favor of making a full healthy return for a three-year push to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
"It just makes more sense for me not to push it again," said Lanning, who fractured his neck and dislocated his left knee in a crash at the opening World Cup downhill in Lake Louise last season. "I'm going to make sure I'm 100 percent good-to-go, then get back on skis and just get in a ton of mileage this winter on snow before coming back to racing in 2012. It's all about being smart and healthy for Sochi."
Lanning has been hampered by a string of injuries dating back to 2003. The Lake Louise race was his first World Cup start since a 2008 crash in Kitzbuehel, Austria resulted in a torn ACL.
During his recovery, the 26-year-old has been splitting his time between Austin, Montana and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's Center of Excellence in Park City, UT. He has also made a number of trips to the famed Steadman Clinic in Colorado's Vail Valley, where he had surgery last December.
"It's been almost five months since my last surgery, so I should be able to move into the biking stage shortly," said Lanning, who will ski on Head upon returning to snow. "Mainly, I've been doing therapy daily then staying active by flat water kayaking and stand up paddling. Both are great aerobic activities, but I'm ready to give my legs a little push."
Following two weeks in Park City, Lanning plans to move to Maui for a month to continue rehab and also to get his Yoga certification.