CHAMPION skiier Matthew Heginbotham’s dream of competing at a future Winter Olympics hangs in the balance.
The 17-year-old from Greenfield, a member of the British Alpine U21 squad, is considering his future after suffering another serious injury.
Matthew had only recently returned to action having recovered from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery after he snapped ligaments playing rugby for Saddleworth Rangers.
The latest injury – to the opposite knee – was sustained when ski racing in Italy.
Matthew, who has been operated on again by a renowned surgeon in Glasgow, is likely to be out for up to nine months.
Mother Tracey said: “Matthew is saying he has retired because he has had too many injuries. He wants to become a ski instructor.
“In the last three years it has been setback after setback. He has had major operations to both knees, broken his hand and had glandular fever.”
She explained until the latest “big crash” Matthew had been skiing well for the previous two months and appeared over his injury woes.
Tracey said: “As Matthew had not raced the previous year, he had a lot of catching up to do.
“He had a couple of races and did well resulting in his starting number lowering.
“It had always been his aim and ambition to compete at the Winter Olympics, but we will have to wait and see how he recovers from this injury.”
Matthew had retired from rugby to reduce the risk of further injuries and to concentrate on his skiing.
A former pupil at Saddleworth School, Matthew is now at Hopwood Hall studying for a BTech in sport.
He began skiing at the age of three on a family holiday and later join the Chill Factore race academy in Manchester.
Matthew trained with the British ski academy from the age of nine and became the England U16 champion in 2016.