U.S. Olympic Team Sees Gold, Could Lose a Skier

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Hannah Teter of the U.S. celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's halfpipe. i

Hannah Teter of the U.S. celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's halfpipe snowboarding competition, Feb. 13, 2006. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters
Hannah Teter of the U.S. celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's halfpipe.

Hannah Teter of the U.S. celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's halfpipe snowboarding competition, Feb. 13, 2006.

Reuters

It's the best and worst of times for the U.S. Olympic team at the Winter Games in Turin. The U.S. women won gold and silver medals in the snowboard halfpipe event, but women's downhill medal hopeful Lindsay Kildow crashed in a training run and was rushed to a hospital by helicopter.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

And I'm Robert Siegel. More medals and more anxious moments for the U.S. today at the Winter Olympics in Turin: the U.S. team brought home gold and silver in snowboarding as well as a second gold in speed skating. But there was also a frightening crash on the downhill course. Top U.S. women's skier Lindsey Kildow is in the hospital after a dramatic high-speed fall.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports from Turin.

CHRIS ARNOLD: If Kildow's injuries keep her from racing, it would be a serious blow for the U.S. team. Kildow is the number two-ranked downhill skier in the world, and was entered in all five Alpine events. It was during a downhill training run today that she suffered a bad crash, and she wasn't alone. Kildow and three other skiers were rushed to the hospital after falling on the hard, icy course.

BOB CONDRON: It's a precautionary measure to get them in the hospital quick, especially with that drastic of a fall.

ARNOLD: Bob Condron is with the U.S. Olympic Committee. U.S. officials have been worried about Kildow all day after she lost control of her ski just before one of the jumps. It's called catching an edge. Her ski shot away from her, she flew through the air for 15 feet and her legs were forced into an awkward split. She landed on her back and hit her head. One veteran Austrian racer turned away not wanting to watch. But Condron says the CAT scans and x-rays have come back normal and Kildow, while badly bruised, does not appear to have broken or torn anything.

CONDRON: Lindsey fell going 50 miles an hour, severe hip bruise and a pelvic bruise, she's staying overnight in the hospital. But being an athlete, having a trained body, she absorbed the fall pretty well.

ARNOLD: Kildow's back, though, is reportedly hurting and team officials say they won't know until tomorrow just how sore and hurt she'll be and whether she can compete in Wednesday's downhill race.

The mood was happier at the Women's half-pipe snowboarding competition. Fans cheered and rang cowbells as the snowboarders caught air and did tricks with the music of their choice thumping in the background.

The U.S. team brought home two medals. Hannah Teeter won the gold and Gretchen Bleiler took silver. The snowboarders are racking up medals. The men took gold and silver in the half-pipe yesterday and down in Turin at the Oval Lengato (ph) Skating Rink, American Joey Cheek, sprinted his way to a gold medal in the men's 500-meter speed skating event.

Chris Arnold, NPR News, Turin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SNOWBOARDING EVENT)

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