By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published May 17, 2015

Vera Koo describes why she has been pushing through pain of a knee injury to return to one of the shooting sports’ most prestigious competitions.

They told me it could not be done.

The first doctor who saw me after I tore my anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in my left knee during a skiing accident on Jan. 1 told me. Subsequent doctors told me. Friends told me. A physical therapist even laughed at the idea of it.

They all told me there was no way I would be able to compete in this year’s Bianchi Cup, which begins May 20. Recovery time would take at least 9 months, I was repeatedly told.

For a few weeks after the injury, I even told myself there was no way I would be able to compete. I wrapped my mind around the idea of sitting out this year’s competition.

About a month after my injury, I changed my mind. I decided I wanted to compete, even if I was unable to perform at my best. A conversation with my daughter, Christina, sparked my change in mind.

Not long after my injury, my husband suggested I should attend the Bianchi Cup regardless of whether I could compete. He told me fellow shooters would understand I am not in shape to compete and that I could not go pron,e but that I should go anyway. I thought the idea was ridiculous. I could not perform, so why would I go?

The change in heart came after I visited Christina, her husband and my granddaughter for dinner at their house. I was wearing my leg brace after having the surgery on my knee.

My son-in-law and my granddaughter are tennis players, and they were watching tennis that night on television. My son-in-law told me about Rafael Nadal’s plight at the Australian Open. Nadal fell ill during his second-round match. He battled through dizziness, nausea and stomach cramps to win against Tim Smyczek in 5 sets. The match lasted more than 4 hours, but Nadal fought through it.

Nadal showed great sportsmanship by continuing to play despite his illness, my son-in-law said, and Nadal did not make a dramatic showing about his illness, like you sometimes see athletes do.

My daughter visited me about a week later. She discussed my plans to skip this year’s Bianchi Cup because I was not in shape to perform well.

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