Bleiler ready for return after serious eye injury

PAT GRAHAM AP Sports Writer Published:

In an ambulance with her face badly bleeding after a trick went horribly wrong in training, Gretchen Bleiler blurted this out: Snowboarding wasn't worth it.

Of course, that was just the pain speaking.

Seven months ago, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist was practicing a double backflip maneuver on a trampoline in Park City, Utah, when she over-rotated, sending her knee bouncing off the springy surface and into her face.

Bleiler shattered her right eye socket, broke her nose, split open her eyebrow and suffered a serious concussion.

Now, after surgery to repair the eye socket, dealing with double vision and headaches so severe she felt like she was constantly in a wave pool, Bleiler has a different take: There's no way she could ever give up snowboarding.