02/16/2006 at 08:15 AM EST
Only 24 hours after a doctor in a Turin hospital told her to give up her Olympic downhill dreams after her knee-buckling airborne crash, a defiant Lindsey Kildow was not only back on the slopes – but she finished tied for eighth, 1.29 seconds behind gold medalist Michaela Dorfmeister.
"I didn't think I was gonna do it," said the 21-year-old after her Wednesday afternoon victory, "and the doctor almost called it right there and said, 'You can't even move. You're not going to be able to do anything.'"
"I just tried to be positive," Kildow said. "I mean, it was only one day but I think I recovered quite a bit and I just got the range of motion back."
Kildow said she skied through pain in her back, and her hip was severely bruised, but "as long as I can physically do it, I can suck it up for a minute, 55 seconds."
As for what's ahead, Kildow is entered in all five Alpine skiing events. Four remain, though she has ruled out next week's giant slalom because of the stress on her knees.