After struggling with an ACL injury Reece Bell is finally back racing Giant Slalom and Slalom.

Read Reece’s previous Ski Club blog here.
After a long and tough year of coming back, I am happy to report that I am back ski-racing again! My last race before my injury was on 4th January 2019. My first race back after the injury was on 10th January 2020.
So far, I have competed in University races at Aspen and Eldora (both in Colorado), representing my University of Denver team. My first run back on the race course, in a GS, was rather underwhelming, as I ended up outside the top 30. However, my GS is improving from run to run, as I continue to get my feel back. In my case it has been more challenging to come back in GS. There is a lot more time in between turns so much of it is based on feeling. Since I haven’t been skiing much in the last year, I still feel slightly out of touch sometimes when I am skiing GS.

On the slalom front, things are going better. A large component of slalom is about how fast you can move your feet, and during this summer I did a lot of agility work to try to get my speed back. 

 I have been able to earn top ten placings in three of the slaloms I have entered so far. This is encouraging, because college racing in the US is at a fairly high level; in each race, there are usually several girls who have already raced in World Cups. It has also been rewarding to contribute to the team points scored by my Denver team, and repay the faith shown by my coaches who stood by me, even when I was injured. 

I would also like to thank Kirk Dwyer and all the coaches at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. Over the Christmas holidays, when my college team was taking a break, I was able to come back home to Vail to do some valuable training at the Golden Peak venue. SSCV welcomed me back, like they always do for their alumni, with open arms. I was even able to forerun a couple of FIS races at Vail, in order to prepare for my own return to racing.

I am very excited to be racing again, and I feel like I have gained a new appreciation for the sport, after having to work hard and get my strength and knee function back up to the level it needs. Big thanks to all the physical therapists who have helped me over the past year. I now have the opportunity to do a bit more training, before my next races in February.