Squaw Valley skier Marco Sullivan, of Truckee, California is a prime example of what “not giving up” is all about. Sullivan placed third in the Audi FIS World Cup Men’s Downhill, in Lake Louise, Canada while sporting a High Fives Foundation sticker on the front of his helmet. A veteran of the World Cup circuit since 2001 and an ambassador to the High Fives Foundation, Marco has 14 top-ten World Cup finishes in his career with the highlight being a win in the Kandahar (Chamonix, France) Downhill in 2008.
The fourth World Cup podium of Sullivan’s career, and first since 2009 was an emotional one as the hard working racer had seen the past two seasons go by without a finish in the single digits while battling a career filled with knee and back injuries. By representing the High Fives Foundation on his helmet, Marco has inspired a group of athletes to continue to persevere no matter the difficult road they may face with a life altering injury. With this, the High Fives Foundation wishes Marco Sullivan the best of luck this season and thanks him for his representation.
Following the race, here is what Sullivan had to say regarding his first podium appearance in three years:
“It’s set in immediately. It was a little bit emotional at the finish. Just to have that happen after a few down years and to start out the year like this, is beyond my expectations. I wouldn’t still be racing if I didn’t think I could still compete. This year, my place on the team was a little bit in jeopardy. I lost a lot of sponsors. I worked really hard this summer and for it to show on the first race of the year was special. I had a couple of herniated discs in my back this spring and didn’t do a whole lot for three months, except for therapy for that. Once I was finally feeling good, I spent a six-week block in Chile and really got comfortable on the new equipment. We showed up at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper and it was in great shape. The training was fantastic and that really gave me some confidence. I came up to Lake Louise, knowing I could do something good. My goal was top 10 and to exceed that was awesome.”
In addition to Sullivan’s amazing finish post-injury, Downhill Junior World Champion Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, VT) finished 25th for the best finish in his young career. To put Sullivan’s finish in perspective, he began the race in the 42nd spot and finished a mere 0.64 seconds behind the winner, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway as he tied with Austrian skier Klaus Kroell.
Photo Courtesy of Marco Sullivan