SHATTERED: Belle Brockhoff after injuring her knee in the snowboard cross small final.
SHATTERED: Belle Brockhoff after injuring her knee in the snowboard cross small final. Cameron Spencer

Belle defies injury to reach semi

WINTER OLYMPICS: Belle Brockhoff's Olympic campaign ended as it began - in agony from an ACL severely damaged twice in the past 11 months.

Her involvement in the Games was secured at the last minute and on the surface had no medical sense behind it. She was in pain at every turn but fiercely determined to see the journey through.

The 25-year-old fought a brave battle through qualification and a quarter-final and was placed fourth in her semi and challenging for a ride in the medal round when she came crashing to the snow.

Brockhoff picked herself up and then went back up the mountain to take part in the small final, ultimately placing 11th.

It was similar to the act of male rider Cam Bolton, who raced the consolation final despite an agonising wrist injury.

At the finish she needed to be helped off the snow by rival riders, barely able to hobble.

She broke down in an emotional TV interview.

"I wanted to come here and lay at least one run down... it just really hurts but I made it down and I'm really happy,” said Brockhoff.

"I had an ACL tear in March and came back... I didn't sign up for this sport to be easy. I still love it. It shows you how much strength you can have an an individual.

"I like a challenge. My teammates called me stupid (but) I had the belief I could make it down the course and I did that.”

Michela Moioli, of Iltaly, took the gold from 16-year-old Julia Pereira De Sousa Mabileau, of France, and 2014 champion Eva Samkova, who threw herself at the finish.

Tony Harper


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