January 31, 2005
SANTA CATERINA VALFURVA, Italy (AP by Erica Bulman)--U.S. ski star Lindsey Kildow escaped serious injury Monday when she steamed down the slope and crashed into several photographers during downhill training at the world championships.
She bruised her back and wrist but plans to ski Tuesday and Wednesday during more training leading to Sunday's downhill.
``I'm lucky,'' Kildow said. ``I'm not badly injured. I just banged myself up a little bit. I've got a nice bruise on my back. I broke my pole and it hurts on my hand right where the grip goes. But I'll be going at 'em tomorrow.''
Two other skiers were injured during opening downhill training. Germany's Isabelle Huber tore a knee ligament, ending her season. Russia's Alena Kasakova injured her left knee and was taken to a hospital for tests.
This has been a rough week for Kildow, who was a favorite for Sunday's super giant slalom but finished ninth after making several mistakes.
On Monday, she crashed after coming off a roll going into the steeps, rotating in the air and landing backward. She fell spread eagle on her back, then spun on the ground several times as she sped down the course and plowed into the photographers.
``It was kind of scary,'' Kildow said. ``I guess I ran into some people but don't remember that.''
Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister was fastest in 1 minute, 42.41 seconds, followed by Germany's Hilde Gerg (1:43.31) and Italy's Isolde Kostner (1:43.42). The top American was Caroline Lalive in sixth place.The three injured women were hurt on one of the most challenging sections of the Deborah Compagnoni course. Skiers turn left before jumping and changing direction in the air to make the next corner upon landing.
``Personally I think that jump should be smoothed,'' Kostner said. ``I didn't have the feeling I was hoping for and I'm a little nervous about it right now.''
Huber was taken by helicopter after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. She will need surgery. Kasakova had a suspected stretched ligament in her left knee.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press