Sochi 2014

Russian 'seriously hurt' in ski crash

Maria Komissarova will leave Sochi after being seriously hurt in a crash which required immediate surgery.

Last updated: 15 Feb 2014 16:12
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova is the first athlete at Sochi to suffer a serious injury [AFP]

Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova of Russia underwent a successful 6½-hour operation on her broken and
dislocated spine following a training accident.

Russian freestyle ski federation spokesman Mikhail Verzeba said Komissarova fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back and was taken to a hospital near the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park for emergency surgery.

When our doctor discusses everything with the hospital medics, we are going to issue a statement and post it on our site.

Mikhail Verzeba, Russian freestyle ski federation spokesman.

"The operation is over ... it's been successful" Verzeba said.

"When our doctor discusses everything with the hospital medics, we are going to issue a statement and post it on our site.''

The 23-year-old Komissarova was practicing for next Friday's contest on a sunny morning on the 1,200-meter course, which has nine banked turns and 25 jumps.

In the main competition, six skiers race against each other, with the top three advancing through heats until the final.

Normally during practice runs, skiers are on the course themselves, or traveling down the mountain in loosely packed bunches.

Jenny Wiedeke, spokeswoman for the international ski federation, said the accident occurred on a series of jumps near the top of the course and that Komissarova fell while exiting the third jump.

She was taken by sled to the medical services tent, and from there to the hospital. Team doctors decided to do the surgery immediately instead of transporting Komissarova down the mountain.

Komissarova is ranked 33rd in the current World Cup standings and recovered from a leg injury last year to qualify for the Olympics.

Her best World Cup finish was a second-place at a race in Switzerland in 2012 and at that event, Canadian skicross racer Nik Zoricic suffered fatal head injuries in a crash near the final jump of a heat in the men's race.

"Nik's death wasn't anything that happened with contact" American racer John Teller said. "But we all understand how dangerous it is.''

Teller said the biggest concern for any skicross racer comes during the racing part, not training or qualifications, which are individual runs down the mountain.

He said most of the competitors had been complimentary of the course setup for the Sochi Games but labeled it a "bigger course.''

"It's like a North American style course'' he said. "We race skicross all year long in Europe. They tend to be smaller courses. I feel like this course is more of an X Games style of course.''







Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.