Rahlves goes down hard in Winter X Games wreck
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – U.S. Olympic freestyle skier Daron Rahlves dislocated his right hip after a nasty wreck in his opening skiercross race Sunday at the Winter X Games.
The injury is a setback as Rahlves prepares to compete in Vancouver, but a doctor who checked him out at the scene was optimistic after the crash that resulted in the 36-year-old’s fourth hip dislocation.
“People who have multiple hip dislocations, the tissues get so loose and go in and out and it doesn’t cause so much damage,” said Dr. Kevin Stone, who looked in on Rahlves after the wreck. “Hopefully, that’s the situation here and hopefully he can come back quickly.”
A few hours after the accident, X Games officials said the hip had been popped back into place, and that Rahlves was putting pressure on it. He was released from Aspen Valley Hospital late Sunday afternoon.
Rahlves, a former Alpine skier, qualified for his fourth Olympic team this year and was using the X Games as a final tuneup before the trip to Vancouver.
In his opening race, though, he lost his balance while going over a series of small bumps midway down the mountain and went flying off the course.
Earlier in the week, America’s other skicross Olympian, Casey Puckett of Old Snowmass, landed awkwardly during a run and suffered what he called a minor setback in his recovery from a separated shoulder.
Meanwhile, world champion snowboarder Max Schairer of Austria has been released from the hospital after a nasty wipeout in the Winter X Games boardercross semifinals Saturday that left him with a mild concussion.
He also fractured his ribs and bruised his chest.
Schairer, the 2009 champion who is scheduled to compete at the Vancouver Olympics next month, got tangled up in a wreck involving several of the six riders in a race over the tight course, filled with turns and jumps.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.