Torin and Andy advanced well through to the final and toed the line together for the first time in to long a while. Two hundred meters into the final a Norwegian skier got tangled with Torin who got spun a little sideways but stayed up unlike the unlucky Norwegian who went down hard. This put Torin and Andy near the back of the field as they left the stadium into a hard right hander.
With this fast crowd there is scant opportunity to pass until the final long hill back to the stadium, which is where Torin had successfully put the hurt on both his 1/4 and semi heat mates. Here, Torin made his planned move and went around Andy and was up to 3rd place when suddenly his right arm refused to obey any commands. The right shoulder had become partially dislocated and stayed that way for about 30 seconds.
As they approached the final turn into the stadium Torin's shoulder went back into its proper location. By then the finish order was pretty well set and they all finished in a single file with ski tip to ski tail and Torin and Andy taking 4th and 5th respectively. A very solid US showing in the lead up to the World Champs. These two can make up a medal winning sprint relay team. As for the shoulder we're thinking that at some point in the race someone must have stepped on his pole basket to pull on his arm while it was extended back.
The final heat enters the stadium with Gloerson in the lead
Viewing this through the lens of hindsight we feel the elation of having maintained our steady march to being in best the form by World Champs in two weeks and a general validation of our approach this year to training Torin.
The shoulder issue is certainly a serious problem to work around. It will mean no poles skiing at least for this week as we assess the shoulder day to day. We have some great medical support here given by the Norwegian Ski Federation PT and she has arranged for Torin to get an MRI to asses the extent of the damage when we move down to Drammen in 5 days. But at this point we plan to stay the course with the focus on 12 days from now but will skip the World Cup in Drammen next Friday.
Photo and text from Scott Johnston, Head Coach, MOD
Follow Torin and the MOD Squad at methowolympicdevelopment.com
(Best wishes to Torin and a quick recovery!)