Austria’s Brunner Returns to Snow
The past competition season ended very badly for Austria’s Stephanie Brunner. At the Austrian Championships on March 20, the 24-year-old withdrew a cruciate ligament and meniscal tear in her left knee during the downhill event. After almost six months of intensive therapy and strenuous training sessions in the Olympic Center “Campus Sport Tirol Innsbruck”, the native of Tux, Austria, has now fought back.
Austrian Ski Federation (OSV) doctor Christian Fink is very satisfied with the progress of the last few months and could easily give a green light to the first on-snow sessions.
“The knee is in a very good condition,” said Dr. Fink. “The rehabilitation phase went according to plan and the strength tests were very positive. Stephanie also trained very consistently and worked hard on her comeback.”
With the first easy turns on September 9 at the Hintertux Glacier, Brunner has reached her first partial goal, to be back on the slopes by mid-September.
“It was a really cool feeling to finally be back on my skis and feel the ‘white gold,'” she said. “It felt like I had never been away. It was an important step in the right direction and you can build on that now.”
In the next few days, with the help of group coach Stefan Schwab, technical teams will be on this program for the time being before they go into gate training.
“The first turns have looked really good, as if nothing had ever happened,” Schwab said. “Nevertheless, we do not need to rush things and go slowly. Depending on how it develops, we then follow the next steps.”
Release courtesy of OSV.