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VANCOUVER -- Maelle Ricker is confident shell be able to defend her womens snowboard cross gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympi

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VANCOUVER -- Maelle Ricker is confident shell be able to defend her womens snowboard cross gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Joe Mixon Jersey . The 35-year-old from West Vancouver, B.C., broke her wrist in training Jan. 28 and required surgery to repair the compound fracture. "Ive been training everyday, Ive been doing physio everyday. My arm is getting better and better, its getting more range and getting the swelling out," Ricker said during a conference call Wednesday. "Everybodys done such an amazing job just as a team, as a whole support network to get me out the door and get me on the plane Saturday to get me over to Russia." Snowboard cross involves four athletes racing down a course at the same time, often jockeying for position. Rickers accident happened when she lost her balance during a training run on the X Games course in Vail, Colo. "It was in a section that Ive ridden dozens of times previous to that run. It was nothing new or surprising. I didnt control my speed as I should have," said Ricker, who won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. "I did the exact opposite of what youre supposed to do -- I put my arm out to break the fall and unfortunately it broke me." Despite having a bone sticking of the side of her arm that "was crazy looking" less than three weeks before she was scheduled to compete in Sochi, Ricker said she was never concerned about her ability to participate. "I wasnt worried about that because I had so much support and reassurance right away that I was getting the absolute best medical care on the planet," she said. "I definitely felt that support and reassurance right away." Ricker said she wont get back on her snowboard until she reaches Sochi. She expects there to be some pain when she competes, mainly at the top of the course when she pulls herself out of the start gate. She said some of the exercises shes been doing since the injury involve simulating a snowboard cross start using bungee cords and pulleys. "I think its going to be better than maybe what I think, based just on my progress the last few days," said Ricker. "Everything is moving so much better than what I would ever imagine a week (post-operation) from breaking an arm. "I think its going to go quite well. Im really positive about this." Ricker and her fellow womens snowboard cross competitors will get their first look at the Sochi course Feb. 12, with the initial training session scheduled for two days later. The race is scheduled to go Feb. 16. Ricker has fought through injuries before -- including a crash right before the Vancouver Games as well as a concussion this past December -- and expects to be able to do the same in Sochi. "Id be lying if I said it wouldnt be in the back of my mind," she said. "Im hoping everything will go as a usual competition and thats where I spend a lot of time visualizing and thinking about the race and technically what Im doing on the board. Usually that overpowers any pain or anything else thats going on." Ricker made her Olympic debut in 1998 on Canadas halfpipe team at Nagano, Japan. She returned to the Games in 2006 at Turin, Italy, with the snowboard cross team but crashed and had to be airlifted to hospital. She returned in 2010 to win gold and it sounds like shes equally motivated this time around. "It sounds crazy, but its helped me," said Ricker of the injury. "This is almost like there was this burning fire, desire. Its almost like somebody doused a bunch of gasoline on the fire so Im pretty ready to go. I can feel the adrenaline and I can feel the excitement of going over to Russia. "Im actually just going to use that as a positive and use that for motivation to just get me through these couple of weeks and hopefully have the race of my life." A.J. Green Bengals Jersey . Then he got back at the team that released him five days before the start of last season, hitting a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning of the first game at Fenway Park since Boston won the World Series last October. Renell Wren Youth Jersey . -- Olympic medallist Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que. http://www.bengalsrookiestore.com/Bengals-Drew-Sample-Jersey/ . Ilonen birdied five of his closing seven holes in superb scoring conditions to end the day with a two-shot lead on the Fota Island course. Ilonen had just 26 putts on the occasion of his 300th European Tour event.New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League issued a four- game suspension to Nashville Predators defenceman Anton Volchenkov on Sunday. Volchenkov was cited for delivering an illegal check to the head of Calgarys Michael Ferland during Fridays 4-3 Flames victory over Nashville. He was not penalized on the play, which occurred in the opening minnute of the second period. Anthony Munoz Bengals Jersey. The 32-year-old blueliner will forfeit $21,505.36 in salary which automatically goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund. Volchenkov is not eligible to return until Nov. 11 when the Predators host Edmonton. He will miss all four of his clubs road games, beginning with a late Sunday tilt in Vancouver. ' ' '

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