By Declan Warrington

shapeimage 1January 1 - Canadian Paralympic medalist Kimberly Joines is returning to competitive skiing despite three surgeries in three months as a result of myriad injuries last season.

In 2010, Joines suffered a torn shoulder, a broken hip and had appendicitis, preventing her from competing but, she says, her run of bad luck hasn'thas not undermined her desire.

"I just take the knocks and keep coming back for more," said Joines, who turns 31 later this month.

"I think some people are born with the ability to do this and some people are never able to recover.

"I've had a lot of crashes at really high speeds and, as much as anything, it's being able to move on and still put forward the same confidence and effort without the fear of injury in your mind.

"I'm finally feeling like my old self again."

Formerly a keen snowboarder, an accident in 2000 left Joines without the use of her legs.

She subsequently joined the Canadian Para-Alpine ski team, winning a bronze in the Super G at the Turin Paralympics in 2006.

She was suspended in 2007 after being tested positive for marijuana.

She also competed in wheelchair basketball at the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games in Athens.

"I think I still need to get back into the swing of things as far as racing goes, but my body finally feels like it's close to good," she added, clearly confident in her physical conditioning," said Joines of her comeback.

"When I was at the top of my game, I was usually in the top three, so being on the podium is my only goal."

"The level of competition is increasing all the time, which challenges me to keep upping the stakes as well," she said.

Joines' biggest rivals are likely to be the United States Paralympic gold medallist Alana Nichols and the 18-year-old German Anna Schaffelhuber.

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