Good news from the Austrian National Parallel Team: Benjamin Karl and Siegfried Grabner who had both suffered some nasty injuries at the end of last season are back on snow.
2010 Olympic Silver medalist Karl, who hurt the ligaments in his left ankle due to a motorcycle accident is already training with his team members on the Stubai glacier.
Grabner, who tore his left ACL as well as his left meniscus following a crash at the last nationals held in St. Gallenkirch is currently enjoying some freeriding on the Stubai and Mölltal glacier.
"My ankle did hurt a lot when I did my first turns on the board a few weeks ago. But now it's getting better and better. I actually get the feeling for my board back. And also the gear is looking pretty good," said Karl who will be the one to beat at the up-coming 10th FIS Snowboard World Championships in Stoneham and Quebec City, Canada, next January being the reigning champion in both, PSL and PGS.
Veteran Grabner who is entering his 16th World Cup season being 37 years of age noted: "I'm truly motivated to be back on snow and happy that our season starts pretty late (Carezza, Italy, DEC 21). Otherwise, it would have been very stressful for me."
And also head coach Tom Weninger is happy to see his top athletes, who had been missing the long on-snow camp in New Zealand due to their injuries, back in racing mode.
"Both are cutting quite a dash. It's obvious that both took their rehab and summer preparation very serious."
The whole team will get a first glimpse of competition action at the Europa Cup races in the Lach valley, Styria, on December 8 and 9.
"The date suits us. We don't have that many races prior to the World Championships. Those Europa Cup events are very helpful to do some real contest runs," added Weninger.