Born to fly: Hendrickson is back on the hill

19-year-old US ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson gives an update on her recovery following knee surgery.
Sarah Hendrickson summer training in Park City, Utah, July 25, 2013.
Sarah Hendrickson © Nate Christenson/Red Bull Content Pool
By Chris Stanton

2013 Ski Jumping World Champion Sarah Hendrickson is back in training, five months after sustaining a knee injury during a jump in Obersdorf, Germany.

Hendrickson underwent ACL reconstruction, MCL and meniscal repair at the end of August last year and it's been a long road back.

I know I am still not 100 percent. However everything is going great so far.

For the past week, Hendrickson has been jumping the 90-metre hill at Park City in Utah under the direction of Women’s Ski Jumping USA head coach Alan Alborn.

“I think I was born to be a ski jumper," says Hendrickson. "The feeling of that first jump back was one of the best sensations in the entire world. I just let go of the bar and felt completely comfortable. All my nerves simply disappeared. My knee feels very good considering the situation.”

Sarah Hendrickson warms up for the FIS World Cup Ski Jumping competition in Lillehammer, Norway, on November 24, 2012.
Sarah has had to train hard © Gali Anikee/Red Bull Content Pool

Since surgery, Hendrickson has been rehabbing six to eight hours a day with team physical therapists at the US Ski Team’s Center of Excellence in Park City.

“Every day in the gym I was dreaming about the days when I would be back on the jumps. Now that I have made it to that point, it is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I, of course, didn't do this alone. My medical team, coaches, and all my supporters pushed me to make this possible and I can't thank them enough.

“Of course, my knee gets sore after a hard day of training but that is to be expected and it’s nothing I can't push past. I am still taking it day by day. I know I am still not 100 percent. However everything is going great so far.”

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