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Olympics / Sports

Russian skier in 'serious but stable' condition after surgery

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova is in a "serious but stable" condition Sunday after surgery on her fractured spine, Russian ski federation officials said.

Komissarova was visited by President Vladimir Putin late Saturday at the hospital in Krasnaya Polyana after an operation lasting more than six hours in which she had a metal implant inserted.

Her condition "remains serious but stable but the night passed satisfactorily," a federation statement said.

Komissarova suffered a fractured 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back. Russian officials said she may be airlifted to another clinic for further treatment.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adam said the health and safety of athletes "is our number one priority."

However Adams said "at this stage we don't see anything abnormal compared to, for example, Vancouver, in terms of accidents and injuries."

Saturday's accident was followed Sunday by crashes in snowboard cross in which two athletes were taken off by stretcher, ending their further involvement in the competition.

Norway's Helene Olafsen, 23, suffered a knee injury in a fall at the start of the first seeding run. Jacqueline Hernandez, 21, of the United States crashed after a jump in the lower part of the course and appeared to be unconscious for a while after hitting her head hard.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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