PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jackie Wiles is no stranger to the slopes. The Canby native, who began downhill racing at the age of 5, has persevered through many trials and injuries.

“It’s a very high risk, dangerous sport. And I acknowledge that,” Wiles told KOIN 6 Sports “If I want to be safe I need to be aggressive because I’m putting myself in a better situation. So controlling the things that I can control.”

The 2010 Canby High School graduate defied the odds to make her 3rd Olympic team. Just getting to China was met with setback after setback.

“I’m 29 and in a sport that takes a beating on your body. I would love to say that I could go for another 4 years. We’ll see if my body can do that,” she said. “I didn’t realize how much the mental side would’ve affected me. Originally, I’d never been through any sort of knee injury, let alone the type that I had. So I was like, 6 months and I’ll be back.”

But after 6 surgeries in the span of 5 months, Wiles felt like her downhill career is going to be a thing of the past.

She said she realized “I was so tentative, subconsciously, for the longest time. Not willing to push myself and trust my knee.”

Wiles trusts it now and is back to full health.

“I’ve shown moments of my old self again, but honestly it’s been a big battle of fear and overcoming the mental hurdle of wanting to hurl myself down a mountain again,” Wiles said. “After being taken out for 18+ months, the fear is there.”

But she couldn’t wait to represent Oregon while in Beijing.

“I’m just so grateful that I can feel proud to be an Oregonian everywhere I travel in the world. Every time I come home, I realize how much I do love this state and how grateful I am that I get to call it home.”