(Reuters) – Lindsey Vonn, who has limited movement in her right hand from an injury suffered last November, said on Wednesday duct tape may be the key to success for her at the world championships in St. Moritz.
Vonn, skiing with a weakened right hand, lost her grip on her pole during Tuesday’s super-G and failed to finish the race as efforts to get it back ultimately forced her to miss a gate.
“I was so distracted, I was trying to stay in the rhythm and I knew where I was on the course but I wasn’t attacking I was just trying to figure out what was going on. Should I lose my pole? Should I try to get it back?,” Vonn told Eurosport during their coverage of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships.
“And by the last section I put it against my thigh and I got it back but I wasn’t sure how I skied because I was distracted and thought I needed to make up some time so I pushed the line a little bit and went too straight. So now I’m using duct tape.”
Vonn, 32, had surgery last November after breaking her right arm in a training crash in Colorado that left her hand nearly useless for a month.
In her first run at the world championships, Vonn’s pole escaped her limited grip when her hand hit the snow. Dangling by a pole strap, Vonn managed to regain control of her pole but by then had lost her concentration.
Turning to duct tape is nothing new for Vonn, who said she used the same strategy for half a season in 2009 after she cut her thumb on a broken champagne bottle and severed a tendon.
“I’ve done it before. It’s kind of annoying as once you are taped in you can’t get it out, so I need a bit of help at the start,” said Vonn. “But at least I know my pole is going to stay on and I don’t have to think about it.”
Vonn is also planning to compete in Friday’s combined and Sunday’s downhill.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)