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Kelly Gunther’s gruesome road to Sochi

Kelly Gunther

Kelly Gunther, of the United States, competes in the women’s 1,000 meters during the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


Speed skater Kelly Gunther endured more pain than most athletes before making her first Olympic Team.

The 26-year-old Ohio native qualified for Sochi in the 1000m in December, nearly four years after a skating crash so serious that amputation had been considered.

Gunther remembered that day in March 2010, a few months after she had missed qualifying for the Vancouver Olympic Team due to another athlete’s reskate.

“I kept thinking to myself over and over again, ‘someone is worse somewhere else, someone may be dying at this point or going through something way more miserable then I am,’” Gunther said.

While being taken off the ice, Gunther asked the medical professionals helping her if she was going to be able to skate again. They chuckled.

“They were like, ‘you’re foot’s hanging off your leg,’” Gunther said.

NBC Olympics’ Willie Cornblatt tells the rest of Gunther’s comeback story here.

List of athletes nominated to U.S. Olympic Team

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