The northeast has no less than two athletes named as National Finalists for the “Ultimate Female Athlete Award.”
In addition to Christina Kouros of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, who was featured on FasterSkier last week, Jenna Hanson of Honeoye Falls, New York, is also a National Finalist.
Hanson suffered a broken neck this fall, causing her to be hospitalized and in traction, followed by three months of inactivity.
Finally given clearance to ski in late January, despite having done no physical activity at all for three months, she went on the win gold in New York’s Empire State Games and then finished 12th, one second out of 10th place, at the New England J-2 festival classic race in Gunstock, New Hampshire.
“With 92 racers from all over New England competing, it marked a remarkable comeback from a very serious injury,” said Bernie Gardner, the Honeoye Falls Lima Nordic Ski Team coach.
“Her surgeon noted that six out of ten patients with this injury have been paralyzed,” Gardner said in an e-mail to FasterSkier.
“I feel that it was her training for Nordic skiing that saved her life by giving her the muscle strength to withstand the initial injury, along with the week it went undiagnosed,” Gardner added.
Watch Jenna Hanson’s video here.
View all the National Finalist entries here. The voting is open through the month of April.
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.