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More injuries on extreme park cross course in Sochi

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Two of the first six riders in Sunday's opening snowboard cross seeding run were taken away on stretchers after falling heavily, causing concern a day after Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova was seriously injured on the same course.

Komissarova underwent more than six hours of spinal surgery at Krasnaya Polyana Hospital Number 8 on Saturday after breaking her back in a crash during training for the women's ski cross at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

The course for the snowboarding event has some different sections but many of the same jumps, twists and turns.

Norwegian Helene Olafsen was the first rider out and after one jump turned 180 degrees before landing on her back and shoulder.

There was a lengthy delay as she was tended to on the course but she appeared to be conscious as she was stretchered off the slope.

"Helene has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee," Norway Olympic team doctor Ellen Moen said in a new release. She also has an injury to the ligament on the inside of the same knee, and a meniscus injury.

"She will most likely have to have an operation on the knee, but we cannot say anything more about it yet."

American Jacqueline Hernandez, who went out sixth, was the second faller, hitting the slope with a thud as she tried to land backwards and appearing to lose consciousness as she smashed her head into the snow.

Again there was a delay as she received medical treatment but she had also recovered consciousness before she was taken away on the stretcher.

The U.S. team later said Hernandez had been treated in the medical tent where they ascertained she had suffered a concussion. She was withdrawn from the competition.

Italy's Michela Moioli later ruptured a cruciate ligament in her knee after a fall in the final and will return home to undergo surgery, the Italian Olympic Committee said on their website.


The International Olympic Committee said the courses had been approved by the federations, who are responsible for their respective fields of play.

"I know they are very happy with it," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters.

He said he had just been informed of the two incidents in the snowboarding competition but said there was "no huge cause for concern," and they were unrelated to the Komissarova accident.

"The accident was in an individual practice. She (Komissarova) was actually in training by herself when the accident happened. So it is not actually the format or the course that is necessarily the problem.

"They (courses) did not appear to have any difference from Vancouver (2010 Olympics). The athletes are happy with the course," he said.

Despite the two heavy falls on Sunday morning, American boarder Faye Gulini echoed Adams's view that there was nothing wrong with the course.

"This is a great course, but it is intimidating," she said after finishing fourth in the final.

"We don't usually have courses that have jumps this big and it's so much fun. But some girls don't have this capability of hitting these huge jumps.

"This course is safe. It has big features which are intimidating looking, but it's built right. So if you give this course all the speed you can it's gonna work. If you do everything right you will be on your feet.

"For a lot of people, it was a mental thing."

(Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann and Philip O'Connor, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Join the discussion

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flyingfortresb17 February 16 2014 at 3:02 PM

a course designed to eliminate the competition? or badly designed? The area is just like the Canadian winter Olympics where snow was a premium.

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StyxnStuff February 16 2014 at 6:47 PM

Way too many injuries...sad

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1 reply
onalaska StyxnStuff February 16 2014 at 10:07 PM

Actually about the same as prior Olympics. Shaun White: " not the best conditions but nothing we have not faced before".

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Lee February 16 2014 at 8:46 PM

I'm old now, and no one cares about my opinion, I realize that. However, that said, when I was an athlete in the 1960's, I recognized the element of danger and injury in sports. I chose to be a competitor anyway, exactly as these young people do today. They aren't seeking your sympathy when injured, I think that they compete in spite of the risks. When there is a problem and things go wrong, don 't critize the sport or bemoan the dangers, appreciate the effort they demonstrate and their courage. If anything, regret that you haven't the skills or determination to know the elation they feel when they do excell!

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SCOTT !!!!!!!! February 16 2014 at 5:48 PM

Sochi is a sub tropical area. This are for a number of reasons should NEVER have been chosen for the olympics. The amount of injuries are showing that if they were concerned about the welfare of the competitors they would shut down some of the events. The snow is below what is safe for the events. This is showing just how corrupt the IOC is. Putin wanted to show off his new Russia. But, He put the events in a area that is dangerous with radical islamists. The area is not a great area for prime skiing. There were other areas that were available were this olympics could have been held that would have been safer and with better conditions. Also, Would have been much safer for the Olympians. When you have only 31 of 45 olympic skiers being able to finish a race? You are proving it isn't safe to race. Enough said.

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3 replies
d.moroney February 16 2014 at 8:59 PM

That's why white backed out, smart

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njdist5ll February 17 2014 at 3:39 AM

I believe a Russian Hockey player got hurt in today's game are we to blame that on the weather also. What about the fast track speed skaters that get hurt while racing indoors is that also due to weather. Wake up it part of being an olympic athlete. Sometimes you are going to get hurt. How many time have you heard the announcers on TV say this athelete or that athelete is coming off surgery it did not happen at the olympics

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jwilli1251 February 17 2014 at 5:57 AM

Finally, a Russian produced "Ironman" course; some are whining and others are gutting it out to become the "real" Olympians.

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bill_jones86 February 17 2014 at 6:17 AM

part of the course the usa is too passified

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mamaava February 16 2014 at 5:50 PM

At 64 I see these kids with all the head bangs, knee stress, hip stress, back stress at such a young age and I say, "Wait till they get 40." These people will PAY for the stress they've put themselves through...ever look at the superstars of sports when they're 45-50?? They're a total MESS! They look like junkies because of all the pain meds they're on and will continue to be on for the rest of their lives....and, the ADORING public who once cheered them on...haven't thought a moment on them the second they were out of the limelight. People are fickle! And, you get the aches and pains. Go figure!

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BarB February 16 2014 at 4:08 PM

why do the moderators allow these idiots with their get rich scemes to post here....they are lame-brained losers...who want others to be snookered as they were...or earn money from getting the losers all on their own.....you don't post legitimate posts and you post this garbage, WHY ?

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4 replies
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