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Speedskating: Theresa Cliff-Ryan injured in training crash

Published December 30, 2013 4:35 pm

Speedskating • Olympic hopeful treated and released at local hospital; her competition status is up in air
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Long-track speedskater Theresa Cliff-Ryan was injured during an off-day training session at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns when the 35-year-old Olympic hopeful was crashed into by a falling speedskater, the Associated Press reported.

Cliff-Ryan, who had her back to the ice while other skaters trained Monday, was injured when skater Kevin Geminder lost his balance on a straightaway going full speed. Geminder slid off the track and into Cliff-Ryan sending her into the air. The AP reported that within seconds trainers attended to her and put her in a neck brace.

She was placed on a backboard and transported to a hospital via ambulance.

Jamie Miller, communications manager for U.S. Speedskating, said due to HIPPA privacy laws, all the organization could confirm is that a long-track athlete was involved in an accident on the ice and was transported to a hospital for evaluation.

"She was treated and released," Miller said.

Cliff-Ryan, a native of Cedar Springs, Mich., barely missed out on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in the women's 3,000-meter qualifier Friday, finishing third in an event the Ameicans were allotted two spots in Sochi. As a former in-line skater and current professional cyclist, Cliff-Ryan was anticipated as a top contender in the women's 1,500-meter qualifier to be held Tuesday in Kearns. She's also entered to compete in the women's 5,000-meter event Wednesday, the final day of the long-track qualifiers.

The status of Cliff-Ryan for those two races is currently up in the air.

"Unknown status for the remaining races," Miller said.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani