Russ Henshaw Reflects on Skiing on Two torn ACLs.

Men’s Ski Slope-style event specialist Aussie Russ Henshaw is a man on a mission. He competed at the Sochi Winter Olympics this year even after tearing his second anterior cruciate ligament a week out from competition.

“It was all pretty complicated,” said Henshaw to “I tore my right ACL a year out from Sochi and I decided not to have surgery because of the qualification process.

“If I had surgery I felt like I would only just scrape it in and I wouldn’t be doing any new tricks, I would just have to work on getting back to where I was before.

Russ Henshaw. Image:

Russ Henshaw. Image:

“Then a week before the Olympics at the X-Games, I tore my left ACL, which was not ideal. It had a lot of bone bruising as well, which was quite painful.

“I knew I could ski, because I had been doing it for a year beforehand but it was stressful at first.

“Then I realised that it doesn’t really matter. I had made it that far and anything else was a bonus. I looked at it as if I was going to go skiing and not competing on the world stage in the biggest event of my life.”

Doctors were at their wits end trying to find pain relievers not on the prohibited substances list for athletes and without significant side-effects.

Henshaw recalls how he felt after qualifying for the finals. “It was my first run in qualifying that got me through to the finals. After having a tough time training, and everything going on during the week, it was such a surreal feeling and something I will never forget.”

After the Olympics Henshaw went into hospital for his much needed, and log overdue, surgery. He has come through rehabilitation with flying colours and is focused on the incipient season.

The world tour begins next month. It kicks off hectic schedule of competitions for the next few months.

“I would obviously love to do well in the X-Games and the world championships, but it is out of your hands,” said Henshaw. “You just have to go there and give the best performance you can.

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