Wednesday April 23, 2014

Last update09:23:58 AM PST

Mahaney and his long road ahead…

DSCN2341.JPGNobody will tell you more about how excited I was for this season than my Coaches and teammates.  Training with the International Snowboard Training Center (ISTC) out of Copper Mountain, Colorado was the best preseason I had throughout my entire career and I was ready to prove it my last year as a US Junior rider.  After being on the mountain 5 days a week, and in the gym for 2 hours on those same days, the long awaited Revolution Tour and Nor Am races were coming.  For US riders not on world cup, these are our first races and they were being held at our home mountain and the team and I couldn’t wait.

Race days were some of the most fun I had yet this season.  At the Rev Tour I qualified 2nd behind former USASA team member Spencer Cordavano and just in front of ISTC teammate Cleve Johnson.  The first rounds went well and I was feeling confident to make finals and win the first race of the year.  What we all know in boardercross, however, is that anything can happen.  Mick Dierdorff and I got into the same semi final heat, but also in that same heat was US Team, World Cup rider, and X Games finalist Jonathan “Good Looking” Cheever.  Cheever got out front with me behind him and Mick right behind me.  Mick passed me halfway down, and now I was in third and not happy because if I didn’t pass him back I would not make finals, so I passed Mick back and crashed into Cheever.  I fell and didn’t make it into finals.  Happily Mick did and made it on the podium.  I ended up finishing in sixth with a very competitive consolation heat with teammate Bobby Minghini.

DSCN2318.JPGThe next two days were Nor Ams; with the field becoming for competitive I couldn’t wait.  I qualified top 10 again and made it into the semi’s where US team member Alex Deibold and I sadly went down in the semi finals together, a little reminiscent of Rev Tour.  At the bottom of the run I tried to make a pass to move into 2nd and get into finals, however I fell over the last jump and subluxated my shoulder.  Full of adrenaline and a little upset with my performance I went back up to the top for my consolation heat, dislocating my shoulder when I pulled out of the gate.  I fell down and put it back in to finish the race, passed two riders and ended up in 6th.  I was not able to compete at the next Nor Am race the next day but went up to support my team, happily getting J-Rod Minghini on the podium that day.

DSCN2367.JPGUp next was X-Games.  I was riding extremely well and couldn’t wait to perform at my first true professional event.  We talked to our Doctor, Dr. Tom Hackett, and he said that I really needed to rake it east but he realized taking me out of X Games was not possible.  Before I talk about what happened at X Games, I want to say thank you so much to PacSun and USASA for the amazing set up they had in Aspen and all the opportunities you gave all of your riders while we were there.

Portable_xRay_III-5.jpgWe got into Aspen and it was the craziest boardercross course I had ever ridden.  Being that it is a full TV covered event, the course is long and difficult.  Having been in the gym all summer and fall I couldn’t wait to prove to the best riders in the world that I could hang with them and give them a run for it in heats.  Until race day, I took it really mellow on my shoulder so that it would be as strong as it could be for heats.  Sadly I came up short on the last jump in my last practice run and shattered and dislocated my foot.  I rode to the hospital with X Games gold medalist for women’s skier pipe, Sarah Burke, as she injured her back.  Sarah walked out of that hospital and is recovering well last I heard from her.  They put an external fixator on my foot in an urgent surgery and I was able to crutch out of that hospital the next day.

Metal_Bar_and_Foot.JPGI then spent a week living with Brooke Shaw and her family, as they are some of my closest friends.  Brooke and I started making hats crocheting, and within 3 days we had over 10 hats.  Sadly I had to leave for Houston, TX for my second surgery with foot and ankle specialist Dr. Tom Clanton.  They operated on my foot February 3rd, and I spent a week in Texas with my kind loving beautiful mom taking care of me.  After my surgery they put me in the "professional suites" which was really nice of them because that is where they put Tracy McGrady and other professional athletes that have surgeries there but sadly I began living in a hotel after only 2 days in the suites.  Now I am waiting for my check up appointment and an okay to fly back to Colorado and hopefully get back to school at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

foot.jpgI have my check up tomorrow and from there I figure out what my next moves are and hopefully they lead me towards trying to finish up my college education a little early.  For now, I am waiting until I am allowed to walk again so that Doctor Tom Hackett in Vail can get in there and fix my shoulder as well, and the recovery from that will then start.

I have a long road ahead but once we hit the top there’s no stopping us.  I will be back next January fresh out of physical therapy to compete and prove that we can overcome all obstacles that are put up in front of us because its easier than you think, all you have to do is try.  My best wishes to all of my friends and family and to all of the USASA up and coming riders and hope that you all have a great and safe season.

Peace and respect,

Mahaney

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