Cross-country skier Ida Sargent has completed a whirlwind journey to arrive at the Winter Olympics after undergoing surgery on her left hand.

Sargent, who lives in Craftsbury, was training in Seefeld, Austria, on Jan. 27 when she injured her hand in a training collision. Sargent said she suffered a complete break across her thumb. “It moved in ways it never moved before,” she said.

After the injury, she flew from Innsbruck, Austria to Frankfurt, Germany. Then she flew to Denver before a short flight to Vail. She had the surgery at the Steadman Clinic in Vail. After landing in Vail after 7 p.m., she was in the operating room at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 29.

Dr. Randy Viola inserted a plate and seven screws in her hand.

“The plate actually acts as the bone. It’s stronger than the bone in terms of performance and stiffness; my hand is actually stronger than it was before,” she said. “Now it’s just kind of pain management and dealing with that. That’s something we’re trained to do. I think it’s just making me tougher.”

“I think it’s just given me this new outlook,” she said of the injury.  “I’m just gonna embrace it. … My goals are still the same. I’m just using it as a challenge and looking forward to seeing what I can do.”

Full Article: Vermont skier Ida Sargent has surgery on left hand before Games