Sofia Goggia racing against the clock to make return ahead of skiing World Champs
The 26-year-old Italian broke a bone in her right ankle back in October, during giant slalom practice in Hintertux, Austria, days before the start of the 2018/2019 season.
Goggia resumed training on skis at the end of December but her recovery is longer than expected.
"I live day by day, turn after turn", she recently told Rai Tv . "Every morning my goal is to make turns better and better. The Worlds are my season goal, let's see."
The first Italian woman to win downhill Olympic gold is also a lover of Latin literature and determined to fight her way back.
She posted "Cotidie sine mora" - translated as "Every day, without hesitation" - on her Instagram at the start of the New Year.
"Ogni passo (letteralmente!) sarà una conquista" - "Every step will (literally) be an achievement!"
Back in Garmisch?
Goggia was due to compete at this weekend's World Cup event in Cortina d'Ampezzo, but persistent pain in the injured leg forced her to postpone the comeback.
With the Alpine Skiing World Championships kicking off in less than three weeks, the 2017 world bronze medallist faces a race against time to be fit.
Will she be ready?
As the Bergamo-born skier continues training in Val di Fiemme, Trentino, the Italian team is confident she can make it and they have targeted the World Cup races in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on 26 and 27 January.
"We need to do things gradually, step by step," her coach Gianluca Rulfi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"At the same time it’s necessary to compete against the other rivals ahead of the World Champs, to see how fit Sofia is and if it’s worth trying to aim for it.
"Cortina would have been too early, without speed training in her legs."
Goggia hopes to take part in the first official downhill training session on 24 January before making a final decision.
Vonn more than a rival
Goggia hopes to compete in the Super-G at Are 2019 on 5 February, although her main goal will be gold in the downhill on the 10th.
During last year's World Cup finals on the Swedish course, Goggia won the Super-G and finished second in the downhill to clinch the discipline's crystal globe in front of her friend and rival Lindsey Vonn.
"I'll miss the fact that she will not be there on my return. She is my strongest opponent," the American said in Cortina, where she makes her seasonal debut after a knee injury.