Katie Uhlaender is going through rehabilitation in Irving, but her mind is already at the Sochi Winter Games.
The 29-year-old is a two-time Olympian, and has plans to go back to Sochi to represent Team USA as part of the Skeleton team.
Uhlaender is focused on a full recovery.
In the fall, Uhlaender suffered a concussion while sledding in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“I was sliding down the track and having a phenomenal run, and in the middle of curve seven, it was like someone smacked me upside the head with a two by four,” Uhlaender said. “I guess we hit our heads more than some of the Summer sports,” she said joking.
Uhlaender is undergoing rehabilitation and treatment at the Carrick Brain Center in Irving.
Even though she’s been medically cleared to race, Dr. Jake Shores still runs Uhlaender through a series of rigorous brain tests.
“We know since she is an elite athlete, doing the thing she’s doing, her normal has to be a lot higher than anybody else,” Dr. Shores said.
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Dr. Shores said Uhlaender’s brain reaction and processing times are much higher than normal, healthy people. As a finely-tuned athlete, Uhlaender processes what she sees much faster than regular people. That’s important when traveling head-first at almost 100 miles per hour.
“Even if it’s just for a tenth of a second, when you’re going 80 90 miles per hour headfirst on ice, a tenth of a second is quite far,” Uhlaender said.
Dr. Shores said Uhlaender’s prognosis is good. She’s reacting and processing things faster. Soon, he expects her mind to be back in Olympic shape.
Uhlaender, who grew up in McGregor, Texas, has goals of getting to the Olympics and earning a medal.
“It’s all about my country and all the people that helped me and given me the opportunity to represent them,” Uhlaender said.