In 1995, Karen Cockburn suffered a serious knee injury when she stepped on
the ball while on the trampoline and completely bent her leg. She underwent
major reconstructive knee surgery and was out of action for a year.
Cockburn competed with a knee brace until the 1999 Olympic trials. She
re-injured it in March after a fall and was out for two weeks.
"To comeback from an injury like that is a major triumph," said her coach
David Ross. "For many athletes it would have taken the wind out of their
sails. But she is almost as good as she's ever been."
Cockburn, who made her first national team at 14, reached finals at the
last two world championships including a seventh place finish last year.
She'll enter the Olympic Games as the second youngest entry and seeded
fifth. "The top-three or four girls won't be easy to beat," said Ross.
"Even to maintain her fifth spot won't be a cakewalk. She's working on new
stuff but it's a coaxing process to get her do new maneuvers in
competition. She has to be confident she can do it or else she gets
2000 Games Sept. 22: Women: Karen Cockburn, Toronto, won bronze medal.