Tommy Gogolen, USA National Telemark team member suffers a major blow once again to his right knee. This is devastating news to Gogolen who came off a career best season after make a miraculous comeback from his first ACL surgery back in August of 2011. Just 8 months later while playing a pick up game with some friends Gogolen went to pivot while running and simply “fell over.” According to his Doctor the graph never took. Gogolen was able to ski all winter on the ACL by simply building up his surrounding muscles protecting it but in reality the new graph was rejected by his body.
Surgery was slated for May 15, 2012 and Gogolen expects to have a full recovery for the 2012-2013 ski season.
Well the US Nationals is over. It was a great week on the East, skiing it up in some warm weather. To sum up the week and the competition..I’m happy. Most importantly once again my knee is still in tact. Although my knee feels great and I am able to compete, it feels “great” in the sense for coming off surgery. But to be honest there is still time that needs to be had before this badboy is completely a 100%. All and all, I am thrilled in the fact that I competed, and that I competed at a high level.
The last day of Nationals was another great day…I don’t think I have been that nervous in a long time. But in my mind, nerves are fine. It is expected. Just to be back in that competitive environment was a great feeling.
After 2 runs on Sunday, I finished the last race with a 4th place result. Like I said, I’m Happy.
Nationals came to end with my results being pretty consistent. A 4th, 4th, 5th, and a 3rd!! The competition was tough with a bunch of guys swapping spots on the podium. Good to see that the US National Team is fighting for spots on the podium. I walked away from this week feeling quite accomplished..but also pumped with the fact that I am at where I am at. Next year is a whole new year, and by then I will be a 100% with the chance to get some good pre-season training in. Boooyaaa.
Today was the Sprint Classic for the US Telemark National Championship. It is amazing how much thought and preparation goes into each race. I mean down to the meal that I have the previous night is thought out. Wax, sleep time, food, stretching, hydrating, goggle lenses are just a few. So many things that you have to remember to do before the start of each race. Nice to have the Mom around to help out with a few of these things.
Sprint Classic- Skied alright the first run. Once again I managed to make a small mistake here and there on first run. Putting me just outside of the podium after the first run. With that being said, the second run I knew that I had to unleash one. Gosh, it is such a catch 22! Still a little uncertain what is the better approach. Ski conservatively or attack?? Skied fast the second run but was unable to manage the jump perfectly. Caught a edge that somehow put me skiing backwards after the landing. Extremely lucky to stay on my feet and protect the knee. Found myself on the wrong side of the gate off the course skiing backwards into the course. Haaa. All and all it was not my day today. Skied to a 5th place finish which is still respectful. I am happy to be safe and fortunate to be able to compete another day.
Tomorrow is the straight up GS. No skate section. booooooooo. The skate section is my strong suit and it will be tough to keep up with these guys with no skate section. It is the last day and we will see how this Nationals pans out for me.
Well the US Telemark Nationals are here finally!! After the long trek from Colorado to NYC then to the great state of New Hampshire- I find myself at Gunstock Mtn. It brings back a lot of memories skiing the East as the conditions are quite different from the skiing Colorado. Break out the wax kit and pay close attention to the weather. Just a few degrees changes what kind of wax is gonna be slapped on the skis. Yesterday we were skiing on slow slush and today we skied bulletproof ice! Two completely different snow conditions and two completely different waxes.
Today was the first day of competition at the US Nationals with the Classic first up (event). The classic consists of GS gate skiing, Jump, Wrap, then skate section into the finish. To get more racing in the USTSA board decided to have 2 races today. So basically there were 2 classics today. Great idea. Some of us travel very far to only have 3 races over a spam of 3 days.
Race 1- Ahhh not my best but happy with the result. I skied Fast, took chances, and skated Hard. I actually took a tighter line coming over the pitch and paid a little price for it….HIP Check. arrrrrgh… for those of you who don’t know what a hip check is.. it is basically where you fall on your hip slide for a quick second then pop back up on your skis. Yea you loose time but it is not the end of the world. Obviously you don’t win races when you hip check. None the less I skied fast with a few penalties and a hip check. Skied to 4th Place finish in the first race. It is always kind of bummer when you get 4th, because your one place out of podium…but you gotta ski fast and clean. I deserve 4th… all and all I am pleased with that.
Race 2- Time to refocus and charge for the second race. Gotta get pumped, be fast enough and smart enough to get on that podium. The speed will come naturally. For me it was just about being smart and disciplined enough not to just absolutely charge all out…but rather ski smooth and clean. DONE!!! It has been a long 7 months with straight rehabbing this knee of mine…but completely worth it!!! It was a great feeling hearing my name called up to the Podium today for a 3rd place finish of the US Nationals.
Day 2 of the Telemark World Cups in Steamboat was another good day. I finished 15th in today’s Classic in snowy windy conditions. All and all I am happy with my result. Although it was not as good as my first day, 15th is still respectable. I decided to be a little bit more on the aggressive side. Didnt work out….just was not the day considering the conditions and my knee. Speaking of that knee…crap….it is quite sore. I do have a day off tomorrow to rest the sucker but we will see.
Still this point it has been a great two days!
Today was the first day of the World Cups and I was able to lay down a run that earned me 10th place. My best World Cup finish ever! Although the field was a little bit thin due to the fact that Japan, Sweden and Slovenia could not make the trip over here to the US, I am still thrilled to be able to ski to a top ten finish. Honestly though, besides the fact that I skied well today, my knee passed the test. I think that is actually more pleasing to me. Now I can breathe a little bit easier at the top of the course knowing that my knee is gonna be able to rock! (hopefully)
Big thanks to Howard Head in Breck for the incredible treatment I have been receiving the past 6 months. Honestly, there is no way I could of been back competing in this time frame without the treatment I have received from them. The dry needling…. awesome.
Tonight will be a good night knowing that I skied well today….tomorrow it happens all over again. Time to get after!
It has been 188 days since I had reconstructive ACL surgery. Tomorrow I will be competing in the Telemark World Cups in Steamboat Colorado. This was the goal…to get back to racing within 6 months to be ready for the World Cups. There has been a ton of hours spent rehabbing and hitting the gym and tomorrow we get to put everything to the test.
This past week has been awesome being able to train gates everyday with standout coaches. Makes a big difference when you have a coach observing every run you take with feedback waiting for ya for at the top of the next run. Also too, watching my teammates rip as well is a great visual aid for me as well. With that being said, it’s been a great week of training in Steamboat. But…now its time to race. Today was an official training day for the World Cup…. it was cool for to reconnect with some of the familiar faces from other other Countries that I recognized. It was not cool, to see how good some of these cats where though. The Germans, Swiss, and Norwegians know how to ski.
Who cares right….time to ski.. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Nervous in the fact that I have knee that needs to withstand the World Cup conditions, and excited to be competing at the highest level tomorrow.
It is official- The SKI Season has begun..with my home mountain.. Breckenridge.. opening up this past Friday the ski season is on it’s way. Last year was probably the best winter I have ever experienced with getting pounded with over 45 feet of snow!!! 45 feet are you serious!!! Hopefully we will have something just close to that measure this winter.
Going well- Hitting the gym at least once a day doing a lot of body weight exercises. Lots and lots of balance exercises that involve my own body weight have been basically the routine the past few weeks. Kinesio Tape!!! Yup still rocking it and still loving it.
OK- so it has been a great few weeks as the weather is changing and winter is rapidly approaching us. Time to break out the winter Jackets and get all my equipment lined up. Want to give a few shout outs to a few companies that have recently helped me out. Burt’s Bees….Thanks for the lip balm and other product that Burts recently provided. Also, Kinesio tape.. Freaking love that stuff. Seriously if you have not tried this stuff, you have to check it out!!! It works.
Ski Life– Getting closer to actually getting on skis. Still hitting Rehab hard with weights and running coming next week. It has been 12 weeks since ACL surgery and feeling good. Looking forward to actually running next week once the doc give me the GO.
Abasin and Loveland have opened and the skiing in Summit County has started. Kind of hard watching your friends dig out the skis and go catch a few runs while I’m off to the gym for some rehab. Soon though!!!
Thanks again to my newest supporters… Burt’s Bees and Kinesio Taping