Local World Cup and two-time Olympic downhill skier Scott Macartney returned home to Kirkland Jan. 26 after an injury knocked him out of competitive racing for the second straight year.
Macartney, 31, suffered an undisclosed injury to his left knee on Jan. 17 after crashing in the Lauberhorn race at Wengen, Switzerland.
“This is a tough one because everything was clicking with my skiing,” Macartney said Monday in a statement issued by the U.S. Ski Team.
US Ski Team and US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) officials say he underwent successful surgery in Vail, Colo. over the weekend.
“He’s recovering quite nicely,” said USSA medical director Dr. Richard Quincy.
The USSA selects athletes for the national team annually based on their performances in national competitions, such as the World Cup. With the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada starting about a year from now, Macartney’s injury places his participation in doubt.
“It all depends on his recovery,” said US Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. “It’s improbable … but it’s possible that he could be ready. It’s difficult to say, based on the severity of his injury.”
His crash and injury are a reminder that the sport of downhill skiing is an extremely dangerous sport.
Only a few days after Macartney’s season-ending injury, Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht suffered severe brain trauma and lung injuries in the Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbuehel, Austria and was placed in a medically-induced coma to ease the swelling of his brain. The Swiss racer’s crash was remarkably similar to the Redmond native’s crash last year at the same point on the Austrian slope. Following Macartney’s 90-mph crash there, doctors also placed him in a medically induced coma. But he bounced back quickly and was back training with the US Ski Team members a few months later.
He previously competed in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics and was ranked 29th in World Cup standings this year before the crash.