Yep, it happened on the Ski Slope

January 30th, 2006

I've been told that the story should include some retelling of anattempt at Olympic glory or some massive shredding prior to the incident. But the simple fact is that, towards the end of the day on December 30th, after a truly wonderful day of skiing, I had AN ACCIDENT.

Truth be told, it was my first day skiing of the Collingwood vacation. I'd spent the five days prior on my snowboard, carving the hills and riding the terrain parks with nary a spill. This day, however, I took to the dual planks and attacked the glades and moguls, the sunny, icy conditions being perfectly suited to my old Rossignols.

Late afternoon saw me on an easy traverse back to the slopeside condo, when I crested a hill and was cut-off by a snowboard newbie. No worries, I figured, deke around the back and keep on going. Not so easy, as a tagged a small mogul that he'd obscured. I hit the berm at just the wrong angle, and my left binding released, throwing me 20 feet into the air. I twisted, and landed badly on my right shoulder, hearing the sickening shattering of what sounded like a chandelier.

When I righted myself, I shook the shoulder and immediately knew I'd not be making Grand Am's Daytona event. So furious was I, that I gathered up my rather impressive yard sale and skiied to the bottom and right into the Ski Patrol office. "Boys," I said, "I'll need a sling and a ride to the hospital."

Three days later — and back in Toronto — I was out of surgery, now being the proud owner of a permanent titantium collarbone brace. Yep, I'd managed to break a nearly one-inch section out of my clavicle. Without the brace, I would have lost nearly 25% of my rotational strength in the right arm, which would have been bad for racing. I'll spend the next two months in intensive physiotherapy, and will work out every day to get my strength and muscles ready for the Grand Am Cup race at Virginia International Raceway in April.

Needless to say, I'll just be out of my sling when Daytona is run, so I'll miss out. But I'm looking forward to running the season with Kensai in one of their RSX's, as well as doing some selected regional racing.

And no skiing until the end of the 2006 season. In fact, I'll probably stick to snowboarding ;-)

-- Karl Thomson

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