John Kucera was expected to be one of the Canadian stars of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He was supposed to be in the start gate as the reigning world champion of the men’s downhill, having won a historic first-ever world title for the Canadian men’s alpine ski team in 2009. But that all changed in November 2009 when he crashed during the super-G at the World Cup stop in Lake Louise, fracturing the tibia and fibula in his left leg as well as damaging his calf muscle and tearing an artery leading to his foot. He underwent surgery and his season was over.
What he didn’t know at the time was that he wouldn’t be back on the World Cup circuit for three seasons. His first attempted comeback ended in February 2011 when he re-fractured the tibia after a faulty binding on his ski released and he fell in Aspen. He had more surgery to insert a larger metal rod into his leg and a piece of hip bone grafted onto the tibia for added support. In the fall of 2011, his bones were healed but his back flared up with bulging discs that had gotten worse. He chose not to undergo surgery, but instead took cortisone injections. Kucera finally returned to the World Cup circuit in November 2012 at Lake Louise where the problems had all begun. He finished 14th in the super-G.
Kucera had made his World Cup debut in November 2004. He had his breakthrough season in 2006-07 when he secured his first World Cup podium, which happened to be a victory in the super-G at Lake Louise. He would go on to finish the season third in the World Cup super-G standings.
2009 World Champion (downhill)… Three Career World Cup Podiums… One Career World Cup Victory (super-G at Lake Louise in November 2006)…