February 15, 2006
Dream dashed
Now Forsyth faces heavy burden of rehab before 2010 Games
DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

Dalling into her best friend's arms, Allison Forsyth immediately burst into tears.

Obviously unable to hide her sadness but putting on a brave face, nonetheless Forsyth did her best yesterday to answer questions about a knee injury that sent her home early from Torino 2006.

"I've had a very long and difficult 24 hours," said Forsyth, who arrived back in Calgary yesterday afternoon.

"I had my accident (Monday) at 1 p.m. Italy time and I've been in the hospital doing X-rays and MRIs and press conferences since. For sure, I'm very happy to be home and see my friends but it's also disappointing."

Forsyth, the unofficial leader and longest-serving member of the Canadian Women's Alpine Ski team, caught an edge in training for the downhill Monday, tearing her left ACL, which will require surgery and many months of rehab.

At 27, the Canmore resident refused to let the injury dash her hopes of one day standing on the Olympic podium.

"It didn't take long after the accident that I knew I didn't want to go out this way from the sport, so I'm going to fight back and be there for 2010," said Forsyth.

"I'm going directly home now for the next few days to get ready for surgery and I have a full knee reconstruction surgery scheduled for Monday and then the long process of rehab begins."

Waiting for her friend at the airport yesterday, Christine McCready attempted to lighten the mood with a giant Teddy Bear but knew nothing could supplement a gold medal.

"I was absolutely stunned, I just did not see this coming," said McCready, who is coincidentally Forsyth's physiotherapist and also served in that role for Alpine Canada during the late 1990s.

"I thought if she were going to sustain an injury, it would happen in an earlier downhill. I thought this downhill was easier for her but the fact that four girls crashed just shows that it was tricky conditions."

Forsyth's strongest disciplines throughout her career have been the super-G and giant slalom. However, for the last season and a half, she's been running the downhill and wasn't convinced she'd even compete in the downhill, which goes today in Turin.

"I was really there for the super-G and the GS, so the downhill was really just for the experience of getting used to the hill and the slope," she explained.

While Forsyth's been relatively lucky throughout her career as far as injuries are concerned, she'll no doubt need considerable time to rehab the knee.

"A week ago I was thinking to myself it's amazing she's been able to go this long without sustaining a major injury," said McCready. "She'll be able to comeback."

Forsyth agrees with her friend.

"Right now (2010) seems pretty far away because I'm not really thinking about tomorrow as far my rehab and everything," she said.

"I know how quickly this Olympics came after Salt Lake and I know Vancouver's just around the corner.

"I'm so excited to compete at home but I've got four years of hard work and training ahead of me."