Behind Thomas Dressen lies two surgeries and a long period of pain that he calls the “depressive phase.” It makes its comeback in Lake Louise.
The lake is frozen, the forests around Lake Louise are covered with snow. Winter is dead in the Canadian Rockies, where downhill skiers begin their Alpine World Cup season. A trip to the past for Thomas Dressen, the most successful active German ski racer; It is a beautiful past and at the same time a new beginning.
Schedule of races in Lake Louise
- Friday, November 25, 20:30: men move
- Saturday, November 26, 20:30: Super G Men
- Sunday, November 27 at 8:30 PM (ZDF livestream): Super-G guys
At Lake Louise, he made a notable comeback in 2019 after a complicated knee injury and a year hiatus from competition – with a downhill victory, his third win in the World Cup.
Locking as a brake
Now he’s back again after a serious injury. So it’s the same as back then and yet completely different. “My last World Cup race was before the curfew,” Dressen says. “It was a long time ago.”
At the beginning of March 2020, he finished eighth at Kvitfjell after a total of three wins that winter and second place in the downhill World Cup. Then the season ended early due to Corona.
Hip first, then knee
Six months later, in the last move of the preparations for the new season, the painful period began. He had to have surgery on his hip first. Then the short comeback at the World Cup in Cortina d’Ampezzo 2021 ended miserably. Not because of the result (18th row), but because the already damaged knee is causing problems again.
Another operation was required. But with the extent of his injury, he says, “I didn’t expect that.” A complex reconstruction of cartilage. Pretty boring as he has to learn from the 29 year old SC Mittenwald.
I’m dressedental hole
“The real blow,” he says, rather than interference, came in November when his teammates flew to North America for their first World Cup race without him.
She had “mentally fallen into a hole” and had “some depressive episodes”, she learned in a conversation with her mentor. In addition to the uncertain sports future, there were also difficulties with one of his sponsors. “A lot of unrest was brought in,” Dressen said.
Endurance test in Chile
“This was a new field for me,” where the spirit played a trick on him. But he did not suppress it, he worked on it. His wife, Birgit, helped him, his family, the sports environment, but most of all, he made his first successful attempts at skiing.
Things were slowly getting better, but Dressen had learned to be patient. He has been training with the team again since the summer.
The first major endurance test for the knee was at training camp in Chile:
Comeback season as a process
Everything worked “perfectly”. Also during the last training at Copper Mountain. Only a corona illness forced him to take a longer hiatus in September. Celebrating his next World Cup comeback in Lake Louise.
“It’s important for me to see where I stand,” she says. It was probably not where it was three years ago, the hiatus was too long for that. But it’s also important for the whole downhill team, which was a little lacking in direction last season.
Wolfgang Maier, Alpine Skiing Director of the German Ski Association, hopes that the 2018 Kitzbühel winner can “ideally attract the whole team”.
Dressen’s goal is clear. “I want to go back to my old self and hopefully get better.” But that doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly won’t happen in the first race. “It,” Dressen knows, “is a process.” Someone who needs to get to the top of the podium as soon as possible.
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