Aspen’s Klug injured | AspenTimes.com
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Aspen’s Klug injured

Tim Mutrie
Chris Klug suffered a broken collarbone Friday at Winter X Games Nine.
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Aspen’s Chris Klug broke his collarbone badly in a crash yesterday as he tried to dump speed in the finish area of the X Games boardercross course following a qualifying run.Klug was scheduled for surgery today at 9 a.m. to have a plate and pins installed in his left clavicle.”That’s my first snowboarding injury ever,” the 32-year-old Klug said last night. “My snowboard has always been sort of a safe haven for me, but not today.”

Klug, the 2002 Olympic bronze medalist in parallel giant slalom, is in his 13th season on the World Cup tour. He was supposed to leave for a race in Slovenia on Sunday, but instead he’ll be staying home to recuperate. The injury will sideline him for at least a month.”It’s disappointing. I was really looking forward to competing in my hometown, but obviously the course wasn’t for me,” said Klug.Known for his alpine racing prowess and longevity, Klug is comparatively new to boardercross – he entered his first X Games last year at Buttermilk.Klug had just missed the cut for the head-to-head heat racing – he was No. 25 in the qualifying run and only the top 24 riders advance to today’s elimination rounds – when he charged across the finish line about a half-second behind No. 24.

“I came into that finish line so hot – I was trying to finish strong – and I ended up catching my edge and it catapulted me onto my shoulder. My collarbone just crunched,” he said.”And frankly, the finish corral is a little bit short. You’re coming in there at mach 10 and trying to slow down in too short a distance. I can kind of see how it happened.”Klug immediately clutched at his shoulder after the crash. Eventually, he stood up on his own power.”I thought I just rung my bell real bad. Then I was like, ‘OK, wait, my shoulder’s hurting.’ Then I pushed on my collarbone and I could feel bones moving; a pretty weird sensation to push on your collarbone and feel bones moving,” he said.

Somehow, Klug made it to a book-signing at Explore Booksellers last night.”Thanks to a few Percocets,” he said.”It’s just a good thing it’s not next year,” he said, referring to the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy. “And as you know, I always seem to bounce back strong after injuries. I’ll focus on other things and I’ll bounce back strong in a month.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com


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