Steamboat Springs Maddy Schaffrick could just as easily have attributed her struggles at this year’s Winter X Games in Aspen to a right knee injury.
But the 17-year-old Steamboat Springs snowboarder refused Thursday to use a torn right meniscus as an excuse for her performance at snowboarding’s premier event.
Schaffrick found out a week before the Winter X Games SuperPipe finals that she had reinjured the knee. But on the heels of her best season to date, Schaffrick said she wanted to close out her season at the X Games.
“The X Games is always fun,” said Schaffrick, who graduated high school in January. “It’s one of the best times to ride all year. I wanted to finish out my season there.”
Schaffrick, who tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in the same knee in August 2010, said she entered the winter with pain in the knee. She wasn’t sure where the latest injury occurred. Recovery time is five months.
At the X Games, Schaffrick used Red Bull’s training facilities and medical team to help her “bring the pain down quite a bit.” Although she didn’t complete any of her three runs and finished eighth, she said she had no regrets about her third X Games competition.
“I was a little bummed I didn’t land my runs,” she said. “But I had so much fun riding that pipe and being in that atmosphere that not landing didn’t bother me.”
Schaffrick likely will move to Salt Lake City to continue her recovery at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City. She said she is looking forward to a full summer of healthy training in Mount Hood, Ore., and New Zealand.
“I had a good season that I’m very proud of,” she said. “I’ve gotten through the last surgery, so I knew I could get through this one.”