Maria Komissarova Injury: Updates on Russian Skier's Back and Recovery

Ryan DavenportContributor IFebruary 15, 2014

Anna Holmlund of Sweden, 2nd center Sasa Faric of Slovenia, top, Katya Crema of Australia,left and Karin Huttary of Austria, right compete in the women's skicross quarterfinal at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Sanchez)
Marcio Sanchez/Associated Press

Updates From Wednesday, Feb. 26

Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports has the latest on Komissarova, and the news isn't good:

Komissarova, 23, crashed on Feb. 15 during a training run. She fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae, located in her lower back. During emergency surgery that lasted more than six hours, a metal rod was implanted into her spine. At the time, doctors did not give a prognosis, but listed her condition as "grave but stable."

With the passage of several days, it appears the prognosis is grim. "I do not feel my body lower than my belly button," Komissarova wrote in Russian on her Instagram account. "But I am strong and know that some day I will definitely be on my feet again."

Komissarova's accident occurred on the skicross course, at the end of a series of three jumps. While several other skiers were injured, course conditions were not blamed for the injuries.

"We are following athletes' health and safety very carefully," IOC spokesman Mike Adams said immediately after Komissarova's wreck. "We're monitoring it. I spoke to the people who are doing the monitoring, and this morning they told me they don't appear to have any difference from previous games."

"Even in these moments I continue to be happy," Komissarova wrote, "though it's very hard."

Original Text

Just under a week before Maria Komissarova was set to ski at the Olympic Games in her home country, tragedy hit.

While training for her scheduled race next Friday, the 23-year-old sustained what are said to be very serious injuries, and will be unable to compete in Sochi.

Komissarova's camp has yet to say anything regarding the extent of her injuries, but the early reports don't sound good, as it was reported she suffered a broken back during training, according to a report from R-Sport

Skicross racer Maria Komissarova sustained the injury while training at the PSX Olympic skicross venue at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the Russian Freestyle Federation said earlier.

A source close to the situation told R-Sport the injury was a fracture of the spine with a dislocation.

"The character of the injury doesn't allow for her transportation to Moscow," the source said. "Now doctors will decide what to do further but an urgent operation will be carried out at Krasnaya Polyana hospital," the source added.

The IOC confirmed that Komissarova had successful surgery, according to Steve Wilson of the Associated Press:

ESPN provided more details on the incident:

"The operation is over ... it's been successful," Verzeba said. "When our doctor discusses everything with the hospital medics, we are going to issue a statement and post it on our site."


The 23-year-old Komissarova was practicing for next Friday's contest on a sunny morning on the 1,200-meter course, which has nine banked turns and 25 jumps.

In the main competition, six skiers race against each other, with the top three advancing through heats until the final.

Normally during practice runs, skiers are on the course themselves, or traveling down the mountain in loosely packed bunches.

Jenny Wiedeke, spokeswoman for the international ski federation, said the accident occurred on a series of jumps near the top of the course and that Komissarova fell while exiting the third jump.

She was taken by sled to the medical services tent, and from there to the hospital. Team doctors decided to do the surgery immediately instead of transporting Komissarova down the mountain.


It's unfortunate for this type of injury to happen to anyone, and one has to feel for Komissarova, who overcame a serious leg injury in 2013 in order to qualify for the 2014 Games, according to the official Olympics bio for the skier.

Though generally considered to be an underdog in a stacked competition, Komissarova made history in 2012, as she became the first Russian woman to capture a World Cup medal in ski cross, when she brought home a second-place finish, and she was seen as somewhat of a dark horse to bring home a silver or bronze medal. 

She was undoubtedly one of the home nation's best chances at a freestyle medal, and hopefully Komissarova will begin her road to recovery following surgery today.