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Tommy Biesemeyer excited to compete in first Olympics

February 9, 2018
By JUST - Sports Writer (jlevine@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

KEENE - Athletes hate having to sit around due to an injury, and Keene's Tommy Biesemeyer is no exception. But after taking two years off from alpine skiing because of a blown-out knee, the 29-year-old's recovery is complete, and he is looking forward to making his debut on the Olympic stage.

Biesemeyer, whose birthday was Tuesday, said in an email from Austria that he is relaxed. Although his knee doesn't quite feel the same, it's not something he's too worried about.

"I injured my left knee, where I tore the ACL, lateral meniscus, medial meniscus, and MCL," he wrote of the injury he suffered in 2014. "It was a big injury and it took two years to recover from, which was something I was not prepared for.

Article Photos

Tommy Biesemeyer of Keene prepares to head down the speed-training course at the U.S. Ski Team training center at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Nov. 7, 2013.
(AP photo — Nathan Bilow)

"Having to sit out for two years with a cloud of doubt if I was going to make a full recovery created a lot of anxiety, but it also fueled my determination and to be in a position to compete for Team USA at the Olympics makes it all worth it.

"As of now, my knee feels great - it has never been quite the same - but it is manageable and strong, so there are no complaints."

Biesemeyer said he was thrilled to qualify for his first Olympic team, as were his parents. But he added that it's a bit of weight off his shoulders as well.

"I feel relieved and proud to have qualified for my first Olympics," he said. "I was injured going into the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, so being [able] to stay healthy and have the chance to compete is a huge honor and accomplishment.

"My parents have booked their trip to South Korea and I am really excited to have them there. I know that the Olympics are something they have wanted for me and supported for so many years that this is just as exciting for them as it is for myself.

"My parents have been through a lot with all of my injuries and they have supported this dream since day one, so once it became official that I qualified they were extremely happy."

Biesemeyer is coming off a relatively strong World Cup season in which he earned two top-30 finishes as well as a top-20. He also earned a podium spot in Saalbach, Austria, in December when he finished third in the downhill.

"We are currently in Saalbach, Austria, doing some on-snow training for three days and then we will take a few days off before flying over to Seoul, South Korea," he wrote. "At this point in the season, it is not so much about getting lots of training volume, but to stay rested and recovered.

"I do believe my skiing is in a good place to be competitive at the Olympics. I have had consistent results at the World Cup level, but I feel as if I have fallen a bit short from my full potential. So maybe that is a good thing? I am hungry to do my best, and that would be exciting to have it come together on the Olympic stage."

Biesemeyer will compete in the super-G in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 15, two weeks from today, and he said he's "fairly certain" he'll get a chance at the downhill event as well.

"Balancing these two events is not that difficult," he wrote. "I would prefer to have two races to compete in, because it allows you to settle in mentally without putting too much emphasis on one event."

Biesemeyer also said he was less than thrilled with the state-sponsored doping scandal that resulted in Russia being banned from competition as a country. Individual Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

"It is pretty unbelievable that there was/is State sponsored doping, and as an athlete it makes you furious," he said. "Anyone who has watched the Netflix movie Icarus will agree that Russia should be held accountable for their actions.

"So I guess the message here is that if you fly too close to the sun, your wings will get burned and that is what happened with the Russians."

 
 

 

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