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Gagnon on super G start list despite shoulder injury

Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon (GEPA/Andreas Pranter)

Canada’s Marie-Michele Gagnon (GEPA/Andreas Pranter)

Canadian Marie-Michele “Mitch” Gagnon suffered a shoulder injury during the slalom portion of Monday’s super combined race at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games; she was expected to withdraw from Saturday’s super G, noting a possible return in time for the technical races next week.

The two-time Olympian, who in January became the first Canadian to win a super combined World Cup race, dislocated her left shoulder when she straddled a gate and fell in the slalom. She received treatment at the scene and was taken to a medical clinic in the Athletes’ Village, where she was further assessed. Tests at the clinic revealed no broken bones or muscle tears.

“We will have to see how it goes but I’m hoping to keep racing here in Sochi,” said Gagnon, who was set to compete in the super G, giant slalom and slalom at the Olympic Winter Games prior to the injury. Her status after Monday’s fall was day-to-day.

“I’ve had injuries before and come back and hopefully I can do it again. It’s too bad… but I am hoping to at least do the technical events (giant slalom and slalom),” Gagnon said following the diagnosis. “I really want to show people that you can overcome obstacles and still do great things,” she added.

Gagnon, who has collected six top-6 results on the World Cup this year, praised the medical staff – including Canadian team doctor Mark Borzecki – who came to her aid shortly after she crashed on the slalom course.

“My skis just didn’t go on the right side of the gate and I fell,” Gagnon said. “Once I tried to get up I knew my shoulder was dislocated. Mark, our Canadian doctor, and the Russian doctor put it back in place. It was pain free – they did a great job.”

Gagnon returned to freeskiing on Thursday and drew attention from the media, reiterating at the time that she would not race the super G but was still hopeful for the giant slalom and slalom races. However, her name remained on the board Friday during the super G draw, and she was issued bib 5 for tomorrow’s race.

Portions of a release from Alpine Canada were used in this article

C.J. Feehan

Web Editor

As a USSA Level 300 alpine coach and race official, Christine J. Feehan spent over a decade training U14-FIS aged athletes at some of America's preeminent ski academies – Burke, Sugar Bowl, and Killington – before joining the staff at SkiRacing.com. She resides in Vermont when not living out of her duffel bag.

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