It has been a frustrating year for Chichester ski star Jack Gower.
Having gone under the knife on a knee injury last summer, the 22-year-old was then struck down with glandular fever, the result of which has seen him out of competitive action since August.
As one of Britain’s finest skiers in the speed events, the setback could not have come at a worse time for Gower, with the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang now less than a year away.
But, having returned to the slopes as a forerunner at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships in Tignes, Gower is already turning his attentions to next season and getting back to what he does best.
“It has been a bit of a slow year,” he said. “I’m starting to feel better now though and I’m starting to get back to full fitness, I’m putting out some good numbers in the gym and I’m getting back to how I was before. Everything is heading in the right direction.
“Injuries are part of the sport, I accept that and I have to deal with it, but the glandular fever was more frustrating for me because it wasn’t set in stone. I found it hard because I was getting setback after setback – it was the most difficult thing I’ve faced so far.
“Everything is in place for me to come back and really do something next year. It would mean a lot if I got to go to PyeongChang. I want to compete for medals at the Olympics and as it stands today, I’m not in the position to be able to do that.
“I need to change a few things in the summer, try to improve and go and do my country proud.”
The 2016-17 season has marked the best campaign for British skiers and snowboarders, with 15 World Cup and three World Championship podiums among achievements.
While Gower may not have been involved, he admits his time off the snow has had its advantages.
“Obviously I want to be racing and it’s not fun to miss out on any year, but I guess it has been a silver lining for me in that I’ve been able to watch everyone’s success,” he said. “I’ll be back racing next year but I’ve been forerunner at the British Championships and that has been fun for me.”
* To follow the Delancey British Alpine Ski Team visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter. As principal sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, specialist real estate investment and advisory company Delancey is proud to support British athletes. Visit www.delancey.com
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