US Distance Star Chris Thompson Fractures Elbows, Vows to Swim at Trials

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. CHRIS Thompson, the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and American record-holder in the 1500 meter freestyle, fractured both elbows during training Monday at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The fractures are expected to take four to six weeks to heal.

Thompson was a surprise bronze medalist four years ago in Sydney, finishing behind Australia's Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins.

The injury throws a monkey wrench in Thompson's plans to make the 2004 US Olympic team at the Olympic Trials, which take place in Long Beach, Calif., July 7-13. However the University of Michigan graduate is hopeful.

In a statement released last night, Thompson said: "I should be completely healed by Trials. The question is how much training time I will miss in the next few weeks. I'm hoping I can start doing cardio in a few days and I'm going to get back in the water as soon as possible, even if I can just kick."

Many swimmers — including several of Thompson's own Club Wolverine teammates — whose injuries have allowed them only to kick in training have gone on to record lifetime best times.

Thompson was injured during dryland training. No additional details have been disclosed.

"I'm going to swim at Trials," Thompson said. "Hopefully, I can still be competitive, but if not, I'm still going to give it my best effort. I'd love to make another Olympic team, but if I don't, I know we will be sending two good guys in the 1500 free to Athens."

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