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Olympic notes: Skicross racer has surgery for fractured spine

Published February 15, 2014 7:09 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • Olympic skicross racer Maria Komissarova of Russia underwent a 6½-hour operation on her fractured spine following a training accident Saturday.

Russian freestyle ski federation spokesman Mikhail Verzeba said Komissarova fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back and was taken to a hospital near the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park for emergency surgery.

"The operation is over … it's been successful," Verzeba said.

The International Olympic Committee was monitoring the situation. President Thomas Bach said, "Our thoughts are with the athlete and we wish her a full and speedy recovery."

The Russian presidential website said Vladimir Putin visited Komissarova on Saturday night in the hospital where she underwent surgery.

Medical staff briefed Putin on the surgery and further treatment and the president "wished her a speedy recovery," the statement said.

Putin also called the skier's worried father and told him "doctors will do everything possible for her recovery."

The statement gave no update on Komissarova's condition.

The national freestyle ski federation issued a statement after the surgery saying a team of specialists inserted a metal implant in Komissarova's spine.

The federation said Komissarova was conscious, and described her condition as "grave" but stable, adding that it was likely she'd need further surgery within weeks.

Ski jumping

Polish ski jumper Kamil Stoch completed a gold medal sweep of the normal and large hills. Noriaki Kasai of Japan won the silver on the large hill and Peter Prevc of Slovenia took bronze.

Stoch joins Simon Ammann and Matti Nykanen as the only men to win both individual events at the same Winter Games.

"I have weird thoughts at this moment. I'm thinking, 'Is it happening for real or is it a dream?' " he said.