Liechtenstein’s Alpine skiing star Tina Weirather will miss the Sochi Olympic downhill after injuring a leg in training, and could possibly be shelved for the remainder of the Games.
On Tuesday, she confirmed on her Facebook page that she will not compete although she is listed on the start list.
The 24-year-old medal contender crashed during the fourth women’s downhill training on Sunday and was diagnosed with a bone bruise of the shin and knee.At the time her status was listed as day-to-day.
On Monday, Weirather posted a photo of herself walking in the Athlete Village on crutches to her Facebook page and expressed doubts about her availability to compete writing, “It is hard to imagine walking around with crutches and 2 days later being at the start.”
The injury is yet another bitter turn for Weirather, who has persevered through four separate knee injuries to get to her second Games as a legitimate medal contender in the downhill, super-G and giant slalom.
She made her World Cup debut as a 16-year-old in 2005. The following year, she competed in her first Olympic, finishing 33rd in super-G while skiing out in downhill in Torino. The conclusion of her first full World Cup season in 2006-07 saw Weirather tear the ACLs in both of her knees during the World Cup final in Zweisel, Germany.
She made a successful comeback the following year but re-tore her right ACL during giant slalom training at the end of the season. In 2010, having qualified for the Olympics in four events, Weirather was forced to miss the Games and the entire 2011 season when she tore that right ACL yet again.
Against the advice of her father, former world champion Harti Weirather, she continued skiing. This season, she has been one of the leading racers on the World Cup circuit, finishing no lower than fifth in any speed race while ranking second in the overall standings.
Her absence from the downhill field opens up medal possibilities for other contenders, most notably American Julia Mancuso, a skier who was viewed as having outside podium potential before the Games but who posted the fastest downhill run in Monday’s super-combined competition.