Olympian Caroline Lalive to Return to USA for Surgery


January 26, 2006

PARK CITY, Utah (US Ski Team Press Release)—Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), who was nominated to her third Olympic Team Wednesday, will return to the USA on Friday for knee surgery, the U.S. Ski Team said.

Lalive was injured Wednesday during official downhill training in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, when she landed on the tails of her skis off a jump and skied off the course. She did not crash. She is not expected to be able to compete in the Olympics.

According to U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Melinda Roalstad, the preliminary diagnosis is that she suffered a fractured patella (knee cap) in her left knee that will require surgery. She will undergo further evaluative studies at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic at the Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail, Colo., upon her return. A determination of surgery will be finalized following complete evaluation, Roalstad said.

Lalive was the No. 2 qualifer in downhill with a top-3 World Cup finish. While it is not anticipated Lalive will be able to compete, there will be no change on the Olympic Team. The next athlete in downhill based on objective selection criteria would be Kirsten Clark(Raymond, ME), who was already on the team based on super G results.

"We're extremely disappointed for Caroline who had been having one of her best seasons ever," said U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. "But we will have a strong team in women's downhill."