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Olympic athlete breaks back; skicross racer Maria Komissarova at hospital

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Skicross racer Maria Komissarova of Russia was on the operating table over six hours to repair a fractured spine after an accident on an Olympic training course. The accident happened during a training session and the athlete was rushed to a hospital near the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park for emergency surgery. According to ABC News on Saturday the athlete fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back and a plate was put in to help her.

The accident happened when Maria Komissarova fell while exiting the third jump near the top of the course. The course is considered comparable to the bigger courses like the X Games and includes nine banked turns and 25 jumps. The athlete was practicing for her shot at the gold next week and her condition is extremely serious.

The 23-year-old athlete will be monitored closely and is considered to be in serious condition. She will need additional surgery and there is no word yet if the spine injury has impacted the use of her legs. The next week will be critical to the recovery of the athlete as doctors make sure the damage can be adequately addressed.

The competition will continue, but as the athletes and viewers know it is with a heavy heart as injuries in the competition are the last thing anyone wants to hear at the Olympics.

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