U.S. skier Lanning suffers ‘season-ending’ injuries
November 29, 2009
CALGARY, Alberta – The U.S. Ski Team says TJ Lanning has a fractured vertebrae in his neck and a dislocated left knee from a crash during the season-opening World Cup downhill.
U.S. Ski Team spokesman Tom Kelly in Aspen, Colo., said that the 25-year-old Lanning, of Park City, Utah, has full movement but that his injuries are “clearly season-ending.”
Team medical director Richard Quincy called Lanning’s injuries “serious,” but added in a statement on Sunday that the “vertebrae fracture is not displaced and does not appear to require surgery at this time.”
Lanning was hurt Saturday at Lake Louise, Alberta, and taken to a Calgary hospital. He’ll be moved to a hospital in Vail, Colo.
His best World Cup showing was ninth place in last year’s downhill at Lake Louise.
LAKE LOUISE, Alberta – Didier Cuche of Switzerland won the season-opening World Cup downhill Saturday.
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Cuche, third in last season’s overall standings, earned his 11th World Cup victory.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I’ve had a really hard time in Lake Louise to be fast.”
He won by nearly a half-second and was timed in 1 minute, 50.31 seconds. He was followed by Italy’s Werner Heel in 1:50.75 and Switzerland’s Carlo Janka in 1:50.93.
Bode Miller, back with the U.S. Ski Team this season, finished 29th.
The race was delayed about a half-hour after a spill by American skier TJ Lanning. He fell headfirst into the snow and crashed into the fence. He was sitting up and moving when officials arrived.
The U.S. Ski Team later said Lanning had a left knee injury and was flown to a hospital for tests.
“What happened to TJ is a bummer. He’s one of my really good buddies, so it definitely put a shadow over everything,” said Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, N.Y., who was the top American in 12th place.
Canada’s John Kucera, who won the super-G at Lake Louise three years ago and was second in the event last season, finished sixth. He was impressed with Cuche’s performance at age 35.
“He’s skiing well,” Kucera said. “He’s strong in three disciplines and he’s going to be a favorite in every single race this year.”
The season-opening super G is Sunday.
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