After injury, former skating champs go for gold in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia (ABC 4 Sports) - John Coughlin and Caydee Denney were the 2012 US National Pairs Champions.  However, they didn't get a chance to repeat as champions because John suffered a major injury.

John tore the labrum in his hip.  An injury so severe, Coughlin debated whether or not to have surgery.

A decision, Caydee was ultimately able to help him make.

"I was very concerned for John's overall health and well-being. I just wanted him to get better, and I knew that that was the time to do it, because I knew in the end that our ultimate goal was the Olympics," said Denney.

"That's when I learned a lot about Caydee, because Caydee was not concerned about herself or anything related to her, her words were, 'you want to be able to walk properly when you get older'," said Coughlin. "To have someone be so selfless like that, it was humbling to know the kind of person she was when the chips were down.  It inspired me to want to get better than before." 

Coughlin ultimately decided to have surgery to fix the tear, going under the knife on December 4, 2012.

After surgery, it took six months of rehab for Coughlin to feel 100% healthy and comfortable training to the degree the duo had before the injury.

Now, the duo feels like that can compete for a medal.  Not only in pairs, but the new "team" category. 

"To be able to have another opportunity to walk home with another medal, with your team, I mean, that's awesome," exclaimed Denney. 

"We're pairs skaters, there's a reason we're not singles skaters, we like being out on the ice with somebody, so if we can share this with somebody, we're all about it." added Coughlin

Denney comes from a skating background, but not the one you would anticipate.  Her parents were competitive roller skaters and her sister was part of the duo who took home the 2013 Jr. World Championship in Pairs roller skating in Paris.

Denney and Coughlin hope to follow up with a medal of their own in Sochi during the Winter Games.

"All the sacrifices our families made, and coaches, and everybody, there's an endless list, and I think that would be one of the sweetest things to call them and say, hey, we did it, and you had something to do with it," said Coughlin.

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