A remarkable comeback: Monash student Brodie Summers prepares for 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

Brodie celebrating a return to the snow. Picture: Brodie Summers

Whilst gearing up for the 2018 Winter Olympics Games in PyeongChang, Monash Business Specialist student Brodie Summers had his preparation take a turn for the worst.

In September 2017, Brodie was landing a routine jump when his knee gave way, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Traditionally, it takes 9-12 months to fully recover from a torn ACL, including surgery and rehab. However, Brodie had torn his ACL only 5 and a half months out from the Games, casting a cloud over his Olympic dream.

Brodie was frantically figuring out whether or not the Olympics were still within reach. “Enter the stress,” said Brodie, as the severity of his injury set in and his hard work began to unravel

The motivation to make the seemingly impossible, possible, was the hallmark of Brodie’s remarkable comeback.

“The mark of a great athlete is one that doesn’t make excuses, instead using adversity as motivation to work even harder to prove how good they are,” said Brodie.

He gave a lot of credit to his “amazing team,” who both matched his efforts and never lost faith in him. He jokingly said that he and his trainer lived in the gym at one point during the recovery process.

Brodie Hitting the gym after surgery. 
Picture: Brodie Summers.
Brodie noted 5 milestones on his road to recovery:

1. A successful reconstructive surgery.

2. “Ditching those damn crutches,” and recovering his movement.

3. The first time he got back on snow in Japan at the three-month mark post-surgery (this one was very important)

4. Trusting his knee to handle the load of landing a jump in a ski boot again – “I’m happy to report this was a success despite my being quite nervous given how close it was to surgery.”

5. Getting back into a mogul course and skiing it from top to bottom. “I only just did this for the first time about a week ago in Colorado and I have had a huge smile on my face ever since!”

All the pain and hard work paid off with Brodie’s selection in the Australian Olympic Games team, which will be his second Games.

Whilst Brodie is mindful of what his body has gone through over the last 5 months, his mentality and approach to the Olympics has not and will not change. Focusing solely on his execution and letting the judges take care of the rest.

Brodie practicing his jumps on the water before
going on the snow. Picture: Brodie Summers.
“It’s not an ‘ideal’ lead up to the Games, but I don’t really care. I plan to compete at my best regardless of what I’ve dealt with in the past few months.”

“The only expectation I put on myself for the Games is to complete runs that I’ll be happy with. I know that when I ski well I am competitive, so all I need to think about is run execution.”

However, Brodie has high expectations for a strong Australian Mogul’s team with the women’s team boasting the reigning World Champion Britt Cox and the men’s team having Matt Graham who is the current world number 3.

We at Monash University may be a little biased when we say that we hope Brodie completes the dream comeback and takes out the gold medal! 

Brodie kicks-off his campaign February 9 at 11:45am (PyeongChang time) and 1:45pm (Melbourne Time).

Monash University wishes Brodie all the best at the Winter Olympics!

We are right behind you! #monashpride

Written by: James Oana
Media Coordinator

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