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Alcott caps comeback by making Olympic team

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2014 at 10:36 am •  Published: January 22, 2014

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Nobody bothered to call Chemmy Alcott and let her officially know that she was named to Britain's Olympic team for the Sochi Games.

And that's just fine for the London-based skier who is returning from her third major leg injury.

"I just saw in the press this morning that I was going. No one contacted me yet," Alcott told The Associated Press after World Cup downhill training Wednesday. "That's probably a good thing. Because I've got a lot to focus on. That was just my second downhill run since July."

Alcott broke her right leg for the third time in August during preseason training and only started competing again this month.

After four surgeries, Alcott now has a 15-inch (38-centimeter) nail holding the bones together inside her leg.

"It goes all the way from my ankle to my knee, and I have a few screws in there," she said. "But I'll do anything for this sport. I'll do whatever it takes."

Alcott was planning to make her World Cup return last weekend in Cortina but heavy snow wiped out those races. So the British ski team had to select her based on past performance and two Europa Cup races this month that she did not fare well in.

"I had so much support from everyone to make the team," she said. "It was tough not racing last weekend, because that was my chance to show it. But I've done it."

Since the British ski team doesn't have a downhill squad, Alcott has had to pay her own way this season. Together with British racer and future husband Douglas Crawford, she raised 34,000 pounds ($56,000) through auctions and personal sponsors.

"There's a nice satisfaction in taking so much self-responsibility into doing your fundraising," Alcott said. "We had great support. ... Things are starting to come together."

Just last week, she got a new helmet sponsor, the British charity "Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it" — not a bad tagline for a skier who has persevered through so much.

"She's worked so hard, I'm really a big proponent of giving athletes after injury a chance," said U.S. skier Julia Mancuso, one of Alcott's best friends on the circuit.

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