FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Spindleruv Mlyn: Resi Stiegler excited to be back on snow

Spindleruv Mlyn: Resi Stiegler excited to be back on snow{mosimage}Resi Stiegler is back in action, on the mend from a complicated ankle and shin injury that has kept her out of World Cup competition so far this season. The 2005 Sprint/Ski Racing Junior of the Year raced in the giant slalom at Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech Republic, on Wednesday, but failed to qualify for the second run.

“I just wanted to get my first race over with, and get that out of the way,” said Stiegler, who will also race in Thursday’s slalom, her favorite event. “It’s not that bad. It’s going to be more painful when I take the boot off and it swells up.”

Stiegler can make a pretty solid claim to having had the worst case of “shinbang” on recent record, having suffered the injury while training in Soelden, Austria, just before the October season opener.

“Most doctors told me they had never seen an injury like that without a leg break also,” said Stiegler, who ruptured the interosseous membrane in her left leg. “It’s the ligament that holds the tibia and fibia together.” Stiegler said she also suffered from bone fractures in her ankle and heel.

Stiegler got on snow just about a week ago in her hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and trained gates with coach Seth McAdam. “It felt fine,” she said. “It hurt, but not too bad.”

She got on a plane for central Europe, trained a little near Lienz, Austria, and came to Spindleruv Mlyn, which had never hosted an alpine World Cup race before Wednesday’s giant slalom.

“Slalom’s the worst,” said Stiegler. “GS I’m psyched because it doesn’t hurt as bad, but slalom hurts because of the pressure and I’m really hesitant on it.”

Slalom is still Stiegler’s best event, and she plans to race in as many of them as possible in coming weeks (there are four World Cup slaloms before the Olympic Winter Games: Spindleruv Mlyn, Lienz, Zagreb and Ofterschwang).

Last March, Stiegler and Tim Jitloff were named the 2005 Sprint/Ski Racing Juniors of the Year.

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