Beijing skiing competitions marred by series of sickening wipeouts
Races in the women’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics took an unexpected twist on Monday after several top skiers had major falls on the slope.
US skier Nina O’Brien was among those who didn’t cope with her run, crash-landing on the slope before medical staff took her away on a stretcher.
O’Brien was in medal-winning position before the second run when she suddenly lost balance and stumbled past the last gate, a mistake which sent her tumbling over course.
The 24-year-old needed medical care and the race was delayed for 15 minutes as she was eventually stretchered away.
The skier appeared to have seriously injured her leg during the crash and her further participation in the Games remains in doubt.
France’s Tessa Worley also suffered a failure during her second run, but luckily came out unscathed from the incident, indicating to the camera that she was ok.
Earlier in the day defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the USA was out of contention for another Olympic crown after she fell, sliding on her hip off the course.
The event was won by Sweden’s Sara Hector, who completed a spectacular first run which put her in winning position. Italy’s Federica Brignone took silver and Lara Gut-Behrami claimed bronze.
In the men’s competition, Germany’s Dominik Schwaiger crashed heavily during the downhill race on Monday and was taken away on a stretcher.
Schwaiger lost control and fell on his back at a speed of 120km/h before hitting the safety nets.
Medical officials arrived to help and the skier was later taken away on a stretcher.
Austria’s Daniel Hemetsberger was also among those to suffer a mishap on the course. He was left bloodied when his pole stuck in the snow, ricocheting back on his face.
The gold medal in the men’s downhill was taken by Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, with France’s Johan Clarey taking silver and Austria’s Matthias Mayer winning bronze.