Notes: Injured skicross racer airlifted to Germany

Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova was airlifted to Germany for further treatment after having surgery on her fractured spine, the Russian freestyle ski federation said Sunday.

The 23-year-old Komissarova crashed during a training run Saturday, fracturing the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back, and underwent emergency surgery lasting 6½ hours.

‘‘Masha Komissarova was rendered all necessary medical care at this stage by Russian doctors,’’ the federation said in a statement. ‘‘By the decision of her relatives, she is being sent for further treatment to a clinic in Munich, Germany, specializing in the treatment of this kind of injury.’’


A team of specialists inserted a metal implant in Komissarova’s spine in a successful operation, the federation said, though they declined to discuss the skier’s prognosis.

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R-Sport quoted Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko as saying Komissarova would have another operation and rehabilitation in Munich, adding ‘‘We are trying to make everything OK.’’

Komissarova was listed as being in ‘‘grave but stable’’ condition earlier Sunday, on a day when two women’s snowboardcross riders were carried off on stretchers after bad falls in qualifying and British women’s halfpipe skier Rowan Cheshire sustained a concussion after hitting her head in practice.

American Jackie Hernandez was nearing the end of the snowboardcross course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park when she was knocked unconscious after slamming her head into the snow. Hernandez, 21, briefly sat up after several minutes and was communicating with medics before being transported down the mountain. She was diagnosed with a concussion and was treated and released. The crash came minutes after Helene Olafsen of Norway was also taken off the course with an injury. Olafsen hurt her knee about a third of the way into her run.

British team officials opted to keep Cheshire at a local hospital overnight as a precaution.


The International Olympic Committee said it had no concerns over the skicross and snowboardcross course conditions and maintained that there have been no more crashes and injuries than in previous Winter Games.

Race postponed

The men’s 15-kilometer mass-start biathlon race in Krasnaya Polyana was postponed until Monday morning because of fog. The race, initially set to start Sunday night local time, had been delayed for one hour as organizers said fog at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center made the visibility too poor on the shooting range. However, conditions didn’t improve . . . Most of the top-ranked ski jumpers didn’t bother to take part in three training rounds ahead of Monday’s team final in Krasnaya Polyana. The top three from Saturday’s large hill individual final — Kamil Stoch of Poland, Noriaki Kasai of Japan, and Peter Prevc of Slovenia — couldn’t train anyway; they were busy at an official medal presentation ceremony.

Tough sledding

Brazil’s women’s bobsled team walked away from a spectacular crash Sunday during two-man training. On their first practice run, driver Fabiana Santos and Sally Mayara da Silva flipped their sled, which went airborne coming out of a turn on the Sanki Sliding Center track and bashed into a wall. The tipped bobsled slid on its side down a long straightaway and Santos’s helmeted head banged off one side as the 400-pound vehicle skittered down the ice. Track workers pulled both athletes from the toppled sled. They were checked by medical personnel and don’t have any serious injuries. Santos and da Silva are expected to compete on Tuesday’s first day of competition . . . NBC studio host Bob Costas plans to make his network return on Monday after being off the air for a week with an eye infection. Matt Lauer subbed for Costas one last time on NBC’s Sunday night telecast . . . Evgeni Plushenko will not skate in the gala show at the end of the Olympics. Plushenko helped the Russia win the team event, but then withdrew from the men’s short program with a back injury.