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     Likewise, the 1997/1998 season contained another serious disappointment in Nicole's career, yet it had its moments of joy. Continuing the saga of Nicole's life full of injuries, Nicole injured her hip during the Champions on ice tour before the 1997/1998 season began as she swayed away from colliding with a fellow skater, Surya Bonally. Unfortunately, she ended up colliding into the boards at the side of the rink instead. This hip injury was not very serious, for Nicole was able to train and compete in all of her planned events for the season. Actually, she might have been better off to skip some of her events because her skating was mediocre up until the Nationals of 1998. Yes, she performed brilliantly at that National Championship. She completed her first clean short program since the World Championship back in 1995. She was in second place after the short program, and after finishing a long program that many considered her best ever, she placed third, making the Olympic team. Even though Nicole didn't win, she performed her best, and made her lifelong goal of going to the Olympics. But during her fantastic free-skate, her hip injury from a few months before flared up again. She also came down with a sever case of bronchitis that caused her to miss two weeks of training, an act that is unheard of a month before the Olympics. Nicole still tried to fit in as much training as possible by staying home until the last minute possible. Perhaps staying home so late hurt her even more as jet lag added to her nerves, virtually extinguishing any chance of proper sleep. It's no wonder why Nicole fell on her first jump of her short program, crushing her lifelong dream winning the Olympics that she had since she was three years old. Nicole didn't have the heart to give it her all and finished 17th overall. Losing a dream and losing the only father figure she ever had took a tremendous toll on Nicole, yet she still trained for the World Championship. But Nicole injured her hip once again, so she withdrew, trying to diminish any future embarrassment. Nicole showed the great courage to keep on skating on to her next season.


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