Last Thursday, Lake Tahoe native and Olympic medalist Shannon Bahrke tore cartilage around her right femur when she crashed in a moguls training run before the World Cup finale in Spain. The injury isn’t too serious, however it will prevent her from competing in the competition. Thus, she will not be able to defend her dual moguls title.
Shannon, being the optimist that she is, simply said, “this is not exactly the way I envisioned the end of my career to be, but at least it didn’t happen a week before the Olympics. So there’s always a bright side of things.”
She did reveal some of the blues, however. “It’s such a bummer. It makes me so sad. But I’m going to be out there cheering everybody on, and it’s going to be a very cool event. So I’m still going to be very much a part of it, even though I won’t be in the gates”.
When asked how exactly she tore the cartilage, Shannon was unable to recall. “I really don’t know what happened. All I know is I landed the top air and went a little bit bigger than I had anticipated going, hit a mogul wrong, flew down the moguls, hit the fence and took out some girl,” she said with a laugh. “And then I was laying on the ground going, ‘OK, everything feels pretty good.’ But then I stood up and tried to put pressure on my right knee, and it just buckled.”
Although this marks a premature end to her career, she’s happy with how that career turned out. “I think the thing I’m most proud of through my whole career is coming back to fight every time,” Bahrke said, referring to her many comebacks from injury. “There were so many times when I really thought I could never come back and be as good as I used to be.
After two knee surgeries it was like, ‘Is it really possible to come back and win another Olympic medal? I don’t think so.’ But I really just put that out of my mind and came back and did the best I could. So I think the perseverance and longevity of my career is what I’m most proud of.”
Shannon ends her strong career with 25 World Cup podium finishes, and two Olympic medals, silver and bronze.