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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Olympics: Majdic out for season with 4 broken ribs

AP Sports Writer

WHISTLER, British Columbia — Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic is out for the season with four broken ribs and a collapsed lung, injuries she sustained before her bronze-medal performance in the individual classical sprint.

Majdic crashed during training before Wednesday’s sprint, falling on a sharp curve and tumbling off the course, then sliding on her back down a three-meter slope and onto some rocks.
On Friday, the Slovenian team said it has filed a protest with Olympic organizers arguing there was not enough protection in place to prevent such accidents.
“We think that the course was not technically correct,” Slovenian team spokesman Branislav Dimitrovic told The Associated Press on Friday. “It was not protected in the right places.”
He said the Slovenian delegation was not currently considering a lawsuit against the Vancouver organizers, but did not rule out future legal action.
“Maybe when we get home, we’ll talk to our lawyers and see what can be done,” he said.
After her fall, Majdic insisted on competing. She completed her qualification lap about an hour later, skiing with her face twisted in pain and then crumpled to the snow, before she was helped out of the finish area. She was taken to a nearby clinic to check for broken bones but was cleared to compete. Dimitrovic said the fractures were missed in an ultrasound scan.
Dimitrovic said the 30-year-old Majdic was unaware of the severity of her injuries until after the event, when she went to a hospital, where she remains.
He said she might be able to return to the athletes village Saturday. She will not be able to fly home for at least another week.
“These are serious injuries,” Dimitrovic said. “The Olympics, and the whole season is finished.”
The 30-year-old Majdic had been one of the favorites for the 30K classical race on Feb. 27.
Majdic has been hailed as a hero back home, and the country’s President Danilo Turk said he will give her a medal of honor when she returns.
Dimitrovic said he wasn’t surprised that Majdic could battle through the pain.
“I know Petra very well, and she’s a champion,” he said. “And she demanded, despite her injury, to be taken to the start line.”