Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Skicross Racer Has Surgery After Breaking Spine At Sochi


Russia's Maria Komissarova in a competition photo from 2010-11
Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova has undergone more than six hours of emergency surgery after breaking and dislocating her spine in a training accident at the Olympic skicross venue in Sochi.

AP quoted Russian officials declaring the operation successful.

The Russian Freestyle Federation said the 23-year-old crashed in the first skicross training session at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and was immediately taken to hospital in Krasnaya Polyana for the surgery.

Federation spokesman Mikhail Verzhba said Komissarova fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back.

Verzhba had said while Komissarova was undergoing surgery: "I do not want to make any conclusions concerning Maria's career, until the operation is completed."

In skicross, skiers race in groups of four in a test of speed, skill, and aggression with the first across the line the winner.

"Slopestyle is a sport with a certain risk, you will never be able to exclude any kind of risk," IOC President Thomas Bach said shortly after Komissarova was taken to the hospital, according to Reuters. "We feel very sorry for the athlete. We are in contact with the hospital. What we know is that she is under surgery right now. We hope that the operation will be successful and that she will be back."

Komissarova's incident marked the first major accident in which an athlete was injured at the Sochi Games, which continue through February 23.

An Olympic employee suffered two broken legs this week when a bobsled "forerunner" struck the worker ahead of an event.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP