This is the most remarkable story of the Olympics to date. It’s unimaginable how a skier could compete at all in a sprint event like this, let alone win a bronze medal.
Posted by Meri-Jo Borzilleri
Turns out, Petra Majdic was more than just bruised when she won bronze in the individual classical sprint on Wednesday.
The Slovenian cross-country star was found to have broken four ribs and suffered a collapsed lung when she fell off course during a training run just before the race.
Majdic’s injuries will end not only her Olympics but her season. She has been hospitalized since the accident, and is not permitted to fly home for at least a week.
Her national team has filed a protest with Olympic organizers that there should have been more protection where she tumbled off the course, falling about 10 feet and onto some rocks.
Majdic, the world’s top-ranked sprinter, did not know how badly she was hurt until after the race.
Amazingly, she managed to capture a medal in the event that requires major lung exertion and hard poling by both arms and torso. In a sprint, skiers race in a small pack and go all out for a total four 1.4-kilometer loops on a hilly, technical course.
Majdic appeared in severe pain, crumpling each of the four times she crossed the finish. Her agony was so apparent that while on course, coaches from rival nations cheered her on, she said.
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