Two months ago, Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff reinjured the ACL in her knee that she tore a year ago. The fact she even made the Olympics was surprising and once there she fought through the pain to reach the semifinals of the women’s snowboard cross race.
Brockhoff fell in her semifinals run, got back up to finish the race, but missed qualifying for the finals. She raced in the consolation bracket and finished her Olympics in 11th place overall. Swiss racer Simon Meiler was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Brockhoff are Meiler are two of the 15 openly LGBTQ athletes in the 2018 Olympics.
“I was going for number one, I always go for gold,” Brockhoff told the media after the race in Pyeongchang.
”But at the end of the day I wasn’t the fastest today but I’ll come back and be faster than these girls for sure... It’s an incredible experience to be representing your country even if they know your body is falling apart on you. ... I feel like I tried my best and that’s what it is.”
After the race, Brockhoff tweeted her thanks for the support she received.
So many messages, so much love and support! Thankyou everyone, it has been a great honour! ❤— Belle Brockhoff (@bellebrockhoff) February 16, 2018
It was gutsy, and perhaps a bit foolhardy, for Brockhoff to compete with such an injury, something she acknowledged. “I like a challenge,” she said. “My teammates called me stupid (but) I had the belief I could make it down the course and I did that.”
Brockhoff has shown she is tough. She came out publicly as gay in 2013 prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a protest against anti-LGBT laws that were passed in Russia. One reason she came out was because she wanted to “rip on the ass” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who proposed the laws.
She says she hopes to avoid surgery and plans on competing at a high level. “I want to come back stronger than ever,” she said.