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Wengen, Switzerland Jan. 10, 2002 (USSA)–U.S. Ski Team downhill racer Chad Fleischer’s (Vail, CO) season came to an end Thursday when he suffered a knee injury in a downhill training crash in Wengen, Switzerland. Fleischer, who had recently recorded an Olympic-qualifying finish in Bormio, Italy, will be out for the season.
Fleischer, who turned 30 last week, crashed out of Wengen’s famed train tunnel, suffering injuries to his right knee. He was helicoptered to a hospital in nearby Interlacken where he is expected to remain for several days until swelling goes down.
U.S. Ski Team Medical Director Melinda Roalstad indicated that Fleischer suffered multiple ligament tears in his right knee. The U.S. Ski Team’s Dr. Randy Viola was on the scene with Fleischer, who is expected to return to the Vail Steadman-Hawkins Clinic for surgery in a few days.
Fleischer was enroute to qualifying for his third Olympic team following his finish in Bormio two weeks ago. He was skiing in the second of three training runs prior to Saturday’s downhill–one of the longest and most challenging on the circuit. He had recorded the 19th fastest training time a day earlier, and had been running top-10 splits in the first two intermediate timing points before he crashed a little over a minute into the nearly two-and-a-half minute course.