Sarah Hendrickson, the 19-year-old women’s ski jumping star from Park City, suffered a knee injury while training in Obersdorf, Germany on Wednesday. The gold medalist from this year’s World Championships injured her right knee during a training jump, according to a release from the U.S. Ski Team.
Kyle Wilkens, medical director for the United States Ski & Snowboard Association, said Hendrickson received medical attention in Obersdorf and will fly back to the U.S. with her team Friday to undergo further medical evaluation in Utah.
Hendrickson, the 2011-12 women’s World Cup ski jumping champion, is considered one of the heavy favorites heading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, in February.
The sport of women’s ski jumping is also making its long-waited debut in Sochi, and Hendrickson, has been tabbed as one of the many possible stars of the Games.
“Sarah is one of the strongest competitors and athletes on the ski jumping World Cup [circuit],” said Robbie Beck, executive director of Women’s Ski Jumping USA. “We are confident in the world class medical care she will receive and will await her prognosis.”
Hendrickson underwent microfracture knee surgery — typically a surgery that requires six months of recovery time — in April 2012 to repair cartilage damage in her left knee. She delayed the surgery that season as she was in the midst of a historic World Cup run, winning nine of the 13 events to capture the inaugural women’s World Cup crown.
The most recent injury comes nearly three weeks after Hendrickson won the 2013 U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on her home hill at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. She also finished second in the Summer Grand Prix in Courcheval, France, on Aug. 15.
Early Wednesday morning, Hendrickson tweeted: “Everything happens for a reason. There is not one thing in this world that will stop me from the dreams I have dreamt.”