Jim Barrows' Story
Jim Barrows, 64, started his life on the ski slopes with ski jumping at age five. He spent his formative years training with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and continued to develop his skiing skills throughout high school, winning every downhill race in the Rocky Mountain Division and the prestigious Western States Team Championships his senior year.
These early successes won Jim a ski scholarship to the University of Colorado where he became the nation’s premier four-event skier, winning several NCAA titles. Jim was tagged "Moose" by his coach, Bob Beattie, who helped him perfect his Alpine skills. In 1965, he qualified for the U.S. ski team, and in 1966 competed in the World Championships in Portillo, Chile, his first international competition.
In 1967, Jim finished third in the First World Cup Downhill race ever held in the U.S. in Franconia, NH and finished the season seventh in world downhill rankings. This made him the highest-ranking American, and qualified Jim for the Grenoble 1968 U.S. Olympic Team.
Jim’s 1968 season ended abruptly during his bid for an Olympic Gold during the Downhill event in Grenoble, France. His spectacular fall was well documented by ABC's Wide World of Sports, never to be forgotten. He recovered to win the 1969 North American Downhill Championships, but 1970 brought another injury, so he used the time to finish his degree in business from the University of Colorado.
After many years of trying various treatments to reduce the pain caused by his athletic injuries, Jim knew he had to consider surgery for his left knee. “Slowly, I had stopped enjoying the things I loved to do, such as coaching other skiers, biking, fishing and golfing.” Reviewing the situation with ski team surgeons, Jim agreed that it was time for knee replacement surgery.
Jim’s surgeon chose an implant called a Sigma® Rotating Platform knee, which is designed to bend and rotate. This implant is available through DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.
Jim’s surgery went very well. During his recovery, Jim worked very hard at his rehabilitation. “I followed my doctor’s and physical therapist’s directions precisely. I wanted to get back to doing what I love to do as quickly as possible.”
Today, “I golf better than ever, cross country ski without pain, and have lost my limp. I have also lost about 20 pounds because I can move again.”
In 1996, Jim was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. But when asked about recent big “moments” in his life, Jim cites his knee replacement surgery in 2006. “That operation changed my life. If I can offer others anything, it’s that there is hope if you suffer from significant severe knee pain. You can do something about it.”
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can determine whether an orthopaedic implant is an appropriate course of treatment. There are potential risks, and recovery takes time. The performance of the new joint depends on weight, activity level, age, and other factors.
Last Updated: 06/11/2009