Canadians add more medals to close out season 

Whistler skier injured after career-best result

Sports is all about highs and lows, but usually not in the same week, as Whistler’s Syliva Kerfoot experienced on the freestyle World Cup tour.

After winning the second World Cup medal of her career in the Czech Republic on March 3 — her first silver, and her first medal in nine seasons — Kerfoot injured a medial collateral ligament in a training run on March 8 at Are, Sweden. She returned home this week to be assessed, and has been told that the ligament will heal. She may require some orthoscopic surgery to repair her meniscus, however, and is likely to be out six to eight weeks.

“That’s sports,” said a resigned Kerfoot on Tuesday, returning to Whistler this week to begin the recovery and rehabilitation process.

“I’m fortunate that I haven’t had any knee injuries in the past, when they’re actually pretty common in this sport. This is my 10 th year on the tour so I have to consider myself lucky at this point that I haven’t been injured, and that this injury wasn’t worse. I tried to go a little too big, I guess, and kind of lost it on the landing.

“The fact that (the injury) happened right after my best result makes it hurt less, if that’s possible. I’m bummed to miss the last race in Italy, the World Cup finals, and the last three events.”

Kerfoot has heard that it will likely take six to eight weeks to recover, which means she won’t miss any of the mogul team’s on-snow training camps starting in May.

In the meantime, she says she was happy to be able to contribute to one of the team’s best season on the World Cup circuit, despite the fact that top performers Jennifer Heil, Kyle Nissen and Ryan Blais have been sidelined with injuries.

“I think we’ve gotten medal performances (in moguls) from six or seven athletes this year, and it was pretty exciting to be a part of the team and to be able to contribute to that is a great feeling,” she said.

Moguls, aerials and ski cross events have been attracting huge crowds this season, including 35,000 in Moscow to watch an aerials event two weeks ago. The events are also getting a lot more television coverage since FIS changed the rules for moguls to allow for more difficult and inverted tricks.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement, and it’s a great sport for Canadians to be able to follow,” said Kerfoot. “Our coverage here has been very good this year, and that’s because freestyle skiers win medals for Canada. It’s exciting to carry that through to Vancouver (2010) and know we’re going to be one of the teams to watch. There are a lot of expectations, and we want to rise to the occasion.”

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