Update: Uncle Donnie’s Dream On Hold
David Donaldson’s pursuit of a spot on the Canadian team for the Sochi Games (“Uncle Donnie Takes On the World” ) came to sudden and painful end in Val d’Isere, France, on January 21.
In a super G (short for super giant slalom, which is, speed-wise, just short of a downhill race) at Val d’Isere, Donaldson, Class of ’13, had made a few mistakes at the top, but was determined to finish the race, to learn more about the hill in advance of another race the next day. He actually thought he skied the bottom of the course pretty well, and was four turns from the finish when, well, we’ll let him tell you the rest, in an excerpt from his blog at theuncledonnie.com:
“The turn was in the dark, hidden from the sun by the peak of Val d’Isere that was now above and behind me. My right ski broke away and I began to fall inside. Instinct and reaction made me fight for it immediately. My left ski took the load. Still carving on my inside ski and having lost my outside ski I was forced into a pretty deep squat and was also twisting away into what might have turned into a pretty nasty high-side (fall) into some A-netting. Fortunately, I held. My left ski with my ankle and knee driving into the turn held on the ice and I began to come up out of the squat and into my tuck. I even began to roll the left ankle and knee over in preparation to attack the top of the next turn. For three ski lengths. The bottom of one turn, transition, and the very hint of the top of the next turn … I felt and heard the grind. Like tin foil being crushed and scraped against itself. And for the briefest of moments. Enough time for just a thought to cross my mind, I said to myself. ‘Holy —-, I just about tore my knee!’ And just as that thought crossed my mind I heard it and felt it. It felt like an explosion in my knee. POP!”
Donaldson traveled home from France the next day, and has been doing physical therapy ever since, to get his leg as strong as possible heading into surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee. He had the operation on February 20, and is doing his recovery in Collingwood, Ontario, north of Toronto, which is where he grew up skiing at Georgian Peaks. He’ll get back to physio again after the mandatory five days of no activity.
And then decide what’s next.