Speed Skier Laurenne Ross Recovers From ACL Tear In Time To Make Second Olympic Team

By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 21, 2018, 2:14 p.m. (ET)

 

The time for Laurenne Ross to question herself is officially over.

After undergoing ACL surgery at the end of last March that made her contemplate hanging up her skis altogether, the speed skier made it back to being one of the world’s best in time to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in super-G.

She joins Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin as Team USA’s three objective qualifiers in super-G following Sunday’s world cup in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

Ross, from Bend, Oregon, earned her spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team with an eighth-place finish in Val d’Isere, France last month. It was just her second race back from the ACL reconstruction.

Widely considered the second-best American speed skier behind Vonn – prior to Shiffrin’s emergence in this season – Ross will return to the Olympic stage after placing 11th in downhill in 2014 while crashing out in super-G and combined.

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The 29-year-old has finished on the world cup podium twice in her career; she was second in a downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in March of 2013, and second in a Soldeu, Andorra super-G in February 2016. Ross also has 10 other top-five finishes.

She finished fourth in downhill and sixth in super-G at the Olympic test event in February 2017.

Ross crashed at the U.S. championships during the giant slalom race in March 2017 only two days after winning the national title in super-G. She tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee.

Coming back this season from the knee surgery adds to a legendary storyline that has seen her return to form following a fractured pelvis in 2006, a torn left ACL in 2008, more than 10 shoulder dislocations and broken bones in her wrist and fingers – not to mention concussions.

She called this latest injury the worst she’s had to deal with and one that forced her to think long and hard about whether she even wanted to return to skiing.

An avid mountain biker with who plays guitar, violin and piano, Ross was born in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the granddaughter of Allan Purvis, the captain of Canada’s gold-medal-winning 1952 Olympic men’s ice hockey team.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.