I finally made it home last night! Flying into O'Hare in Chicago was a harrowing experience...I've never flown directly through a thunderstorm...in progress! Kudos to the Pilot of American Airlines Flight 843 from Miami to Chicago...well done!
But enough about scary flights, what about the big news that just came out today from Zürich! When Evgeny Plushenko announced his comeback, he stated he thought Lambiel would do the same. Seemed a bit random at the time.
Well, it's official. Stéphane Lambiel intends to compete in Vancouver. In an official press release, Lambiel states, "I would like to qualify for the 2010 Olympic Games and achieve a top score in Vancouver." The release also states his abductor injury hasn't gone away, but physical therapy has made the pain manageable.
He'll train twice a week with Peter Grütter (in the news recently as Kostner's former coach) in Geneva and the rest of the time on his own at home in Lausanne under the care of his physical therapist.
But, there's a catch here. Jamal Othman, Switzerland's top mens skater in Lambiel's absence this season didn't perform so hot in competition. Compounding the problem, Othman failed to reach the free skate at the World Championships in Los Angeles. What does that mean? Switzerland didn't qualify an Olympic berth in Vancouver for the men's event. *GASP*
But, not all is lost...it simply means Stéphane has to do a few things. First he'll have to place in the top six at Nebelhorn Trophy. He'll have to get at least 195 points in two competitions (one will hopefully be Nebelhorn) to prove he's competitive. Likely, he'll need to compete at the European Championships in Estonia to seal the deal. At that point, the IOC can give Switzerland one of the provisional allotments.
Busy season for Lambiel ahead. I wish him luck and most of all I hope he can remain healthy enough through all of this.