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Ski cross 30-somethings ready to race

U.S. ski cross competitor Daron Rahlves, a four-time Olympian, dislocated his hip during a crash in a race 2.5 weeks ago and got back on skis for the first time this past Sunday.
His teammate Casey Puckett, a five-time Olympian, suffered a severely separated shoulder a month ago in France, underwent surgery, and figured his Olympic hopes were about shot.
On Thursday, however, Rahlves, 36, and Puckett, 37, said they gained confidence that they could compete during a recent training camp in Sugar Bowl, Calif. Both said they were in better shape than expected if not back to full health.
"When you're motivated to get healthy, it's really impressive ... how quickly you can get back into health," Puckett said.
Rahlves describes himself as 88 percent of his old form. Puckett said he still feels pain when he moves his arm in certain ways.
Both said they were inspired by the success of the U.S. team to date--the U.S. tally of 18 medals is more than its won at any previous Winter Games to this point--and would be ready to go when the competition begins.
"I'm not going to have any physical limitations on Sunday," said Rahlves, the former U.S. downhill star. "The success the U.S. team has been pulling down, it's amazing."

By Amy Shipley  |  February 19, 2010; 6:55 AM ET
Categories:  Skiing  
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